This introductory chapter clarifies the definitions of ‘personal life’ and ‘private law’ as undertaken by this book. Roughly, ‘personal life’ refers to what people do (as well as what they think, believe, want, etc.) apart from the law. The chapter discusses a ‘monist’ view that what private law would have us do is best understood by reflecting on what we should be doing, quite apart from private law, which entails reflection on the reasons why we should be doing it. As to ‘private law’, this chapter and the book as a whole primarily refer to the law of torts and the law of contract. This definition excludes a few similar but unrelated concepts such as unjust enrichment, breach of trust, and breach of confidence.
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