‘Seeing Negligence for What It Is’

Nicolas Cornell, ‘Looking and Seeing’, in New Conversations in Philosophy, Law and Politics (Ruth Chang and Amia Srinivasan eds, forthcoming), available at SSRN. 1Ls are often taught that the tort of negligence differs from its counterpart in morality by not requiring blameworthy or culpable misconduct. As Holmes famously put it, whereas ‘the courts of Heaven’ will make allowances for the defects of a ‘hasty and awkward’ person, no such generosity is extended to defendants facing a negligence suit in a common law court. But is it correct to suppose that the moral wrong of negligence necessarily involves culpability or blame? In his marvelous essay ‘Looking and Seeing’, Professor Nico Cornell engages an array of recent work in the moral philosophy of negligence to argue, in effect, that Heaven’s courts are as demanding as their earthly counterparts … (more)

[John CP Goldberg, JOTWELL, 24 November]

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