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The Practice of PrincipleIn Defence of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory$
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Jules Coleman

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199264124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199264124.001.0001

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Function and Explanation

Function and Explanation

(p.25) Lecture Three— Function and Explanation
The Practice of Principle


Oxford University Press

This chapter returns to the idea that tort law is a human practice that, broadly speaking, serves certain functions. It argues that if it is to be understood as a causal-functional account, the economic analysis of tort law has not risen beyond being a ‘Just So Sorry’. It does not defend its claim that tort law actually produces optimal deterrence, and more importantly, it proposes no causal mechanism that might explain how this putative fact about the outcome or effect of tort law might explain tort law’s existence, persistence, and shape.

Keywords:   economic analysis, tort law, corrective justice, human practice, causal-functional account

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