Critical Article : Critical Summary Essay

768 Words Oct 11th, 2015 4 Pages
TRN160 – Critical Summary

In Hart’s article, he mentions two types of theses: The moderate thesis and the extreme thesis. The moderate thesis, discussed by Patrick Devlin, claims that: “shared morality is the cement of society” and “without it there would be aggregates of individuals, but no society” (48) Furthermore, it claims that any deviation from social morality is a crime against society as a whole thus the state has the authority to correct this deviation through the law. The extreme thesis claims that: “the enforcement of morality is regarded as a thing of value” (49) which is not a tool used by the government to justify creating certain laws. The major difference between the two theses is that the moderate thesis gives power to the state to enforce moral standards, while the extreme thesis gives power to the society to enforce moral standards.

It is important to uncover the distinction between these two theses for understanding and evaluating because it exposes the foundation of Devlin’s argument. To understand an argument, one must break it down to its most basic state. A method of doing this is by comparing one thesis to another. In this case, the distinction between the Devlin’s moderate thesis and the extreme thesis shows that Devlin’s arguments stand upon evaluating society as an entity whose governmental body is responsible to enforce morality while the extreme thesis stands upon evaluation society as individuals who choose to enforce a standard of morality…

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