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Several legal philosophers have argued that the principle of corrective justice provides the best explanation of various areas of the law—especially the law of torts. On the other hand, some philosophers of law and many economists of law have argued that the principle of corrective justice is not an independent principle of justice. I call this the problem of dependency. If the critics are right, the principle of corrective justice cannot be an explanation of a large area of our law as it claims to be.
I argue that the increasingly complex forms of the problem of dependency that the critics have proposed lose their force once we have a better understanding of the principle of corrective justice and its relationships with other principles. The principle of corrective justice does not serve a conception of distributive justice or efficiency and can provide an explanation of a large area of our law despite the criticism. It does so independently as a principle of justice that is reflected in our legal practice.
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