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Tort Law and the Demands of Corrective Justice, 67 Indiana Law Journal 349 (1992)


In a series of articles I have explored the grounds of our current practice, of holding injurers liable in torts. Part of my motivation has been the belief that because political authority is necessarily and inevitably coercive that is, it constrains the scope of individual liberty-exercising it requires a justification. At the very least, the authority in question must not be arbitrary or random. I have taken this minimal requirement to mean that any body of the law must be coherent and consistent; some set of consistent norms must be capable of making sense of it. But that is not enough for the law itself to be justifiable. In addition, the underlying norms must be worthy of respect and provide justifiable grounds for political action. Thus, the task of the legal philosopher is to determine the extent to which law is coherent and if its coherence is an expression of a defensible conception of justice or some other important aspect of morality.

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