Michael Da Silva, ‘Formalising formalism: Weinrib, Aristotle, and the nature of private law’

Abstract
Ernest Weinrib claims that the purpose of private law is to correct injustices between private parties and the use of private laws for consequentialist ends is a distortion. Weinrib’s primary argument highlights the distinctiveness of corrective justice and distributive justice (and, by extension, private and public law). Weinrib claims to have an Aristotelian proof for their distinctiveness, but formalisation of and commentary on this aspect of his argument are lacking. This piece fills that gap in the literature. It provides purposely and strategically simple formal models of the structure of corrective and distributive justice, and demonstrates that they are not reducible to one another and cannot be placed under a larger, non-trivial mathematical formula that generalises for even a large number of private law cases.

Michael Da Silva, Formalising formalism: Weinrib, Aristotle, and the nature of private law, Jurisprudence – An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought, https://doi.org/10.1080/20403313.2018.1426301. Published online: 13 Feb 2018.

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