The paper discusses the Anglo-American philosophy of law of the 20th century, more specifically the philosophy of law of Ronald Myles Dworkin and his criticism of the legal positivism of Herbert Lionel Adolphus Hart. The author presents the history of the criticism of legal positivism in Ronald Dworkin’s philosophy of law and distinguishes historical stages. The subject of the study is the critique of legal positivism but not the Hart-Dworkin debate itself, well known in Western philosophy of law. The reason is that the discussion was conducted between Dworkin and Hart’s supporters but not between Dworkin and Hart by himself. The latter responded to the criticism only after twenty seven years. The article explains why Dworkin chose for his criticism Herbert Hart’s version of legal positivism. This is due to the fact that Dworkin highly appreciated Hart’s positivist theory of law and characterized it as the “most clear.” The article presents the methodological foundations of criticism of Hart’s legal positivism in Dworkin’s philosophy of law. It reveals a methodological divergence between the two legal theories, which directly affects the understanding of the concept of law and its content. Therefore, we can assume that the legal theories of Hart and Dworkin are two competing models of law: Dworkin’s model considers law as a set of rules and principles and Hart’s model acknowledges only rules and court decisions as a source of law. The article also presents the key principles of positivism criticized by Dworkin. These principles, firstly, interpret law as a set of legal rules determined through a special legal criterion, secondly, provide the judge with an opportunity to make a decision “at his own discretion” in a situation not regulated by law, and, thirdly, recognize only legal rights and obligations enshrined in legal regulations. It is important to note that in this article the author describes criticism as an independent phenomenon of legal philosophy with a particular focus on the history and foundations of this phenomenon.
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DOI 10.30727/0235-1188-2019-62-7-124-142
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References found in this work BETA

The Concept of Law.Hla Hart - 1961 - Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Law.Stuart M. Brown - 1963 - Philosophical Review 72 (2):250.
Taking Rights Seriously.Thomas D. Perry - 1977 - Ethics 88 (1):80-86.
Law's Empire.Ken Kress - 1986 - Ethics 97 (4):834-860.
A Matter of Principle.Ronald Dworkin - 1987 - Ethics 97 (2):481-483.

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