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Ideas matter. In the law, legal ideas not only store the wisdom
of the past, and help to constrain and legitimate today's decisions;
they also help to shape the future course of legal evolution.l
Ideas are not, of course, the only factor that shapes the future of
the law. Law is an open system that responds to both its own
internal logic and to its external environment. But in periods
when the external forces affecting the law are relatively constant,
the logic of the ideas in the law is an important factor shaping the
future course of legal development.

In this Article, I explore the governing ideas that lie behind recent
developments in tort law.

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