Monday, May 6, 2024

Peter Chau on Tort Law and Contractualism (Law and Philosophy)

"Tort Law and Contractualism"
Peter Chau
Law and Philosophy
Published online: April 2024

Abstract: How can tort law be justified? There are well-known difficulties with the three traditional theories of tort law dominating the literature (namely, economic theory, corrective justice theory, and civil recourse theory). Recently, some have turned to moral contractualism in search of tort law’s foundation. One of the most prominent attempts was made by Gregory Keating. Keating’s account, however, has been subjected to powerful objections. In a recent paper, John Oberdiek, through a sympathetic critique of Keating’s account, develops a new version of contractualist tort theory that is alleged to be at once superior to the three traditional theories of tort law and immune to the objections to Keating’s account. The aim of my paper is to critically assess Oberdiek’s account; I will argue that, while Oberdiek’s account does improve upon Keating’s in some important respects, it is ultimately unsatisfactory.

1 comment: