"Tort as a Substitute for Revenge"

Michigan Law Authors
Areas of Interest
Publish Date
Philosophical Foundations of the Law of Torts
Publication Type
Book Chapter

Courts often say that tort is a substitute for revenge. But it is not clear how the substitution is supposed to work. Taking the classic case of Alcorn v Mitchell as a template, this chapter argues that the primary reason for regarding tort as a substitute for revenge is that both are tools for doing corrective justice. In support of that contention, the chapter develops a communicative conception of corrective justice and defends it as superior to the standard Aristotelian picture. It then makes the case that tort and revenge share similar expressive aims.

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