Morality and Expectations

22 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2010 Last revised: 10 Sep 2010

See all articles by Shawn Bayern

Shawn Bayern

Florida State University - College of Law

Date Written: February 27, 2009


This paper (an early-stage draft) is part of a series that aims to displace the dominant economic conceptions of negligence law.

The goal of this paper is to provide one possible moral foundation for this effort, based on the contractualism of T.M. Scanlon. The central conclusion is that violating the expectations of others may violate rights in more situations than commentators traditionally suppose (at least where those expectations are reasonable, though whether a non-circular definition exists for that kind of reasonableness is insufficiently explored in this draft of the paper).

Keywords: tort, negligence, morality, expectations, reasonableness, Scanlon, contractualism

JEL Classification: K13

Suggested Citation

Bayern, Shawn J., Morality and Expectations (February 27, 2009). FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 349, FSU College of Law, Law, Business & Economics Paper No. 09-08, Available at SSRN: or

Shawn J. Bayern (Contact Author)

Florida State University - College of Law ( email )

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

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