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Alfonso Catania, "Acceptance in the Thought of Herbert L.A. Hart", in Law and Language. The Italian Analytic School (click here for further details): Is Hart's "acceptance" a new way (distinct from those of Austin and Kelsen) of solving the problem of legal validity? First, the concept of acceptance is considered, in relation to Hart's notions of primary and secondary rules and internal and external points of view. In the case of primary rules, acceptance can be distinguished from moral "approval". As for secondary rules, the author considers only Hart's rules of recognition, which provide criteria for recognizing primary rules and thus indicate the conditions of validity of rules. Analysing the expression "acceptance of the rule of recognition", we see that the question of acceptance is inseparable from that of observance. The expression that Hart uses, "effective acceptance", means only that acceptance of a rule follows from its use, and is thus indistinguishable from effectiveness: a solution not dissimilar from that of Austin.



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