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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

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Symposium Draft

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Eventually, I hope to produce an article or book called "Reading the Mind of the Private Law." In this project I hope to do three connected things: to simplify the underlying patterns of the common law and associated statutes to make them more comprehensible to newcomers; to provide a more accurately descriptive and more normatively attractive' story' than Posner's notion of value-maximization; and to make sophisticated lawyers' understanding of legal patterns more complete by including an explicit focus on benefits. (Traditional jurisprudence focuses more on harms than on benefits; even the practitioners of economic analysis, which technically speaking should be as concerned with harms as with benefits, tend to focus on negative rather than positive externalities. Broadening our view of the private law to be more aware of benefits will itself contribute to greater descriptive accuracy and, hopefully, greater simplicity in the end.)



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