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Philosophical Issues in Tort Law

Philosophy Compass, Vol. 3/4, pp. 734-748, 2008

15 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2009  

John Oberdiek

Rutgers Law School

Date Written: July 25, 2008


The union of contemporary philosophy and tort law has never been better. Perhaps the most dynamic current in contemporary tort theory concerns the increasingly sophisticated inquires into the doctrinal elements of the law of torts, with the tort of negligence in particular garnering the most attention from theorists. In this article, I examine philosophically rich issues revolving around each of the elements constituting the tort of negligence: compensable injury, duty, breach, actual cause, and proximate cause.

Keywords: tort law, tort theory, negligence, legal philosophy, risk, duty, breach, causation

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Oberdiek, John, Philosophical Issues in Tort Law (July 25, 2008). Philosophy Compass, Vol. 3/4, pp. 734-748, 2008. Available at SSRN:

John Oberdiek (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

217 North 5th Street
Camden, NJ 08102
United States
856-225-6513 (Phone)

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