The Intellectual Origins of American Strict Products Liability: A Case Study in American Pragmatic Instrumentalism

American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 443-509, October 1995

Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper

68 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012

Date Written: 1995

Abstract

This article examines the intellectual origins of strict products liability in America. The author traces the intellectual roots of strict products liability to the constellation of ideas referred to in the article as “pragmatic instrumentalism” (pragmatism, institutional economics, and legal realism). Pragmatic instrumentalism played a significant role in changing the way tort law is viewed in America — transforming it from an individualist focus to being concerned with broader policy implications. This new intellectual perspective, combined with Progressive Era politics, led to the shift away from negligence to strict liability in products liability.

Suggested Citation

Hackney, Jr., James R., The Intellectual Origins of American Strict Products Liability: A Case Study in American Pragmatic Instrumentalism (1995). American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 39, No. 4, pp. 443-509, October 1995, Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2007599

James R. Hackney, Jr. (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
33
Abstract Views
573
PlumX Metrics