Culture and The Sovereign

The Virginia Freeman's Society

Some of you are undoubtedly familiar with John Austin, particularly if you took any classes on political or legal philosophy in college or post-graduate classes. For those who are less familiar with him, he is regarded as really the founder of legal positivism, though much of his theory was modified and ‘modernized’ by H.L.A. Hart in the 1950’s. Little is discussed in most academia about Austin and Hart, but these are perhaps the two most influential legal theorists to current US jurisprudence today. The utilitarian school of jurisprudence they developed has largely dominated law schools for the last three or four decades in the majority of the country. Austin represented a seismic shift away from the 18th century jurisprudence of Blackstone and other legal philosophers by rejecting the practical idea of natural law theory. He was contemporaries with Jeremy Betham, John Stuart Mill and his father, and Thomas Carlyle. Those…

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Author: Alfred E. Neuman

70 year old geek, ultra-conservative patriot.