Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 August 2020
Chapter 9 includes some insights and observations from the Hon. Prof. Calabresi on the major elements of the Maimonidean theory, especially those that are similar – more or less – to contemporary tort law and economics. Calabresi discusses law, economics, and justice in our era and in Maimonides’ theory of torts, and empirical differences in the different times and their implications. Calabresi also considers the question of whether there are differences between the differential liability model presented by Maimonides, and contemporary theories of the economic analysis of tort law, expanding on deontological as opposed to utilitarian considerations according to law and economics. Calabresi deals specifically with the issue of punitive damages and discusses the innovative analysis of Maimonides compared to the multiplier approach, distributive justice as presented by Maimonides, and his optimal deterrence model. There is a great deal in Maimonides that presaged both his work in particular and sophisticated modern law and economics generally. Calabresi notes that not only can we now understand Maimonides, and the breadth of his thinking better, but we also have a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses of modern scholarship.