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Philosophy of LawCollected Essays Volume IV$
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John Finnis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199580088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580088.001.0001

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Allocating Risks and Suffering: Some Hidden Traps

Allocating Risks and Suffering: Some Hidden Traps

(p.337) 16 Allocating Risks and Suffering: Some Hidden Traps
Philosophy of Law

John Finnis

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by examining some basics in Adam Smith's conception of economics, and then tells the story of the evolution of the law about mantraps in the 1820s in England and later in the United States. This sets the scene for an examination of Posner's engagement with the same body of tort and criminal law, and with the concept of intention in the law, generally. The weaknesses at the heart of an Economic Analysis of Law are identified, and its unfitness for adjudication. Political community has no goal analogous to a one-project firm which can account completely to its shareholder's at project's end. The distinction between the intended and its foreseen or foreseeable side effects is appropriately relevant in law.

Keywords:   Adam Smith, Posner, Economic Analysis of Law, mantraps, intention in tort, intention in criminal law, side effects, political community

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