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From Personal Life to Private Law$
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John Gardner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198818755

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198818755.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 May 2021

The Way Things Used To Be

The Way Things Used To Be

(p.161) 5 The Way Things Used To Be
From Personal Life to Private Law

John Gardner

Oxford University Press

This chapter turns to the question of the measure of damages. In particular, it considers the question of why they should be oriented towards restoring the life the wronged person would have had, had the wrong not been committed. The chapter sketches a picture according to which it is often reasonable to want to keep things one already has, or would have had but for the wrongdoer, even in a situation in which (thanks to the wrongdoer) one now has an ideal opportunity to do things differently and better. It ends with brief reflections on the socially conservative implications of such a view, which turn out to be more apparent than real. Security, including the security that private law can provide, thus should be more of a preoccupation of progressive politics than it is.

Keywords:   measure of damages, socially conservative implications, security, progressive politics, damages

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