Risks and Wrongs: Philosophical Analysis (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law)

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9780521329507: Risks and Wrongs: Philosophical Analysis (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law)

One of America's most eminent legal theorists is concerned here with the conflict between the goals of justice and economic efficiency in the allocation of risk within this major new study for theorists in philosophy, law, political science, and economics.

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"Coleman concludes that efficiency matters in the law because of the way that markets and other coordinating devices such as tort rules help us to achieve other goals in liberal society. This is a valuable conclusion that provides one of the many reasons why this book should be of great interest to anyone who seeks to understand the normative dimension that efficiency occupies in the law." Mark Geistfeld, New York University, in Journal of Economic Literature

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This major new book by one of America's preeminent legal theorists is concerned with the conflict between the goals of justice and economic efficiency in the allocation of risk, especially risk pertaining to safety. The author approaches his subject from the premise that the market is central to liberal political, moral, and legal theory. In the first part of the book, he rejects traditional 'rational choice' liberalism in favor of the view that the market operates as a rational way of fostering stable relationships and institutions within communities of individuals with broadly divergent conceptions of the good. However, markets are needed most where they are most difficult to create and sustain, and one way to understand contract law in liberal legal theory, according to Professor Coleman, is as an institution designed to reduce uncertainty and thereby make markets possible.

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