Book

The Idea of Private Law

Ernest J Weinrib

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665815
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748622 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665815.001.0001
The Idea of Private Law

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This book offers a new approach to understanding private law. Rejecting the functionalism popular among legal scholars, the book advances the idea that private law is an autonomous and non-instrumental moral practice, with its own structure and rationality. The book draws on Aristotle's account of corrective justice and Kant's legal philosophy to set out a formalist approach to private law that repudiates the identification of law with politics or economics. It argues that private law is to be understood as a juridical enterprise in which coherent public reason elaborates the norms implicit in the parties' interaction. Private law embodies a special morality that links the doer and the sufferer of injury. The book elucidates the standpoint internal to this morality and traces the implications of the formalism he proposes for our ideas of the structure, coherence, and normative grounding of private law. It also shows how this formalism manifests itself in the leading doctrines of private law. Finally, the book describes the public but non-political role of the courts in articulating the special morality of private law.

Keywords: private law; Aristotle; corrective justice; Kant; legal philosophy

Book.  264 pages. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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Table of Contents

Understanding Private Law in The Idea of Private Law

Chapter

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Legal Formalism in The Idea of Private Law

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Corrective Justice in The Idea of Private Law

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Kantian Right in The Idea of Private Law

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Correlativity in The Idea of Private Law

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Negligence Liability in The Idea of Private Law

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Strict Liability in The Idea of Private Law

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The Autonomy of Private Law in The Idea of Private Law

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