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Place of Negligence in the Law of Torts. (SIGNED BY ABRAHAM HARARI TO THE DEDICATEE, D. D. RAPHAEL.)
Sydney: Law Book Co. of Australasia, 1962. - FIRST EDITION. Original cloth. Inscribed: 'D. D. Raphael/with best wishes/A. Harari'. 'To D. D.' (printed on p. iii). The tortured academic career of Harari, who died of a brain tumor in 1972, is perhaps best understood in the context of the much more famous legal philosopher H. L. A. [Herbert Lionel Adolphus] Hart (1907-1992), the longtime focus of Harari's intense rage described in detail in Nicola Lacey, A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream (Oxford, 2005). In the mid-1960s, Hart 'had been one of the examiners of an Israeli student, Abraham Harari's, doctoral thesis. Harari's work was on the place of negligence in the law of torts (the law of civil wrongs leading to compensation). It included some criticisms of Herbert's and Tony Honoré's arguments in Causation and the Law. It was referred back for substantial revision and resubmission. When finally resubmitted, the thesis was not awarded the doctoral degree. Harari, who had in any event been reluctant to modify a thesis to which he was strongly committed, felt that the decision was unjust. He blamed it on Herbert, and attributed it to Herbert's intolerance of criticism and of views different from his own. . . . [Harari] secured a post at the University of Tasmania, and in 1962 he published a book arising from his doctoral thesis: The Place of Negligence in the Law of Torts. He then moved to a post at Dundee. But the sense of injustice continued to rankle, and Harari worked out his resentment in several ways. He wrote Herbert a series of increasingly accusing and hostile letters. These letters have not survived, but they must have been extreme: Herbert confided to Brian Simpson that he feared Harari might try to kill him. Harari also began to write an essay, 'H. L. A. Hart and his Concept of Law (1961): An Open Letter to a Teacher of Jurisprudence'. The 'Open Letter' evolved in a number of stages: the original part was 15 pages long, but by the time Harari had finished it in 1972 it had reached 96 pages. It is made up of a coruscating and minute critique not only of Herbert's book but also of Herbert himself, interspersed with illustrative poems, biblical quotations, references to a wide range of philosophical sources from Aristotle to Wittgenstein via Hobbes, Hume, Mill, and Russell, asides to fellow teachers of jurisprudence, and quotations from reviews critical of The Concept of Law. . . . It would not have taken any special insight on the reader's part to recognize that there was a personal dimension to the attack: Are my strictures harsh, dear colleague? Do you detect something 'personal' in these lines? Would you rebuke me for the use of immoderate terms? You are perceptive. Would that you were just a little more perceptive! It is possible to criticise or attack a man's work without by implication criticising or attacking the man? Surely it is better to be conscious of and honest about what one is doing . . . Nor would it have taken a psychiatrist to realize that there was something obsessive about Harari's critique. By page 6 of his letter, he was still labouring over page 2 of The Concept of Law; by page 11, he had reached page 3. Herbert, however, was seldom a person to take adversity lightly, and he agonized miserably over how to respond to Harari's missives. . . . In the end, he followed friends' advice not to get further involved. What upset him was not so much any real concern about damage to his intellectual reputation as to the personal nature of the attack. Harari's story is a tragic one: not only because he devoted his considerable intellectual gifts to such bitter and unconstructive ends, but also because he turned out to be suffering from a brain tumour. He died shortly after the completion of the Open Letter. The Letter was never published, but remains in the possession of several recipients and has been deposited in a small number of university libraries' (Lacey, pp. 274-7). [Attributes: First Edition; Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Ted Kottler, Bookseller]
Last Found On: 2018-01-10           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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