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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: August 2020

8 - Maimonides as a Pluralistic-Differential Scholar and Contemporary Tort Law Theories:


Chapter 8 draws some cautious lessons from a contemporary analysis of torts for Maimonides’ theory of torts and vice versa. We offer a full conceptual description of the Maimonidean theory, based on the previous chapters, and also characterize Maimonides as a pluralistic-differential scholar. We show that, as opposed to contemporary approaches to torts, which emphasize law and economics and corrective justice, Maimonides’ approach should be characterized as pluralistic and not monistic. After showing how contemporary approaches shed light on Maimonides’ approach, we can move in the opposite direction; that is, we can draw some careful – but important – lessons from the Maimonidean theory for contemporary tort law. We suggest one possible way of learning lessons from Maimonides’ theory for contemporary law, which may help enrich the current tort law discourse. The argument that Maimonides is a true pluralist enables us to draw a careful comparison between Maimonidean and contemporary pluralistic approaches to tort law, such as those of Glanville Williams, Fleming James Jr., Izhak Englard, Gary Schwartz, Mark Geistfeld, Christopher Robinette, Steven Burton, John Goldberg, and Benjamin Zipursky. This comparison reveals differences among the approaches, as well as advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

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