Competing Conceptions of Autonomy: A Reappraisal of the Basis of Tort Law
Martin A. Kotler
Widener University Delaware Law School
January 1, 1992
Tulane Law Review, Vol. 67, 1992
Seeking to identify and describe the essential values underlying tort law, this Article attempts to demonstrate that tort law is a system that simultaneously seeks to promote both efficiency and individual autonomy. It argues, however, that efficiency is a secondary goal of tort law that comes to the fore when it is inexpedient, impossible or unnecessary to promote the primary value of autonomy.
The primacy of autonomy, however, is often obscured by the fact that our conception of autonomy has evolved over the years. Once understood in terms of an individual’s rights in private property, autonomy is now widely perceived in terms of the protection of one’s bodily integrity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: torts, tort law, efficiency, autonomy
JEL Classification: K13
Date posted: May 24, 2009