Aristotle and Optimal Deterrence

Alessandro Romano


The central role of corrective justice in shaping private law has vigorously been challenged by the law and economics movement, and its concept of optimal deterrence. The fierce rivalry between the two competing theories seems to be at a dead end since scholars on each side appear to be deaf to the arguments raised by their counterparts. However, building on Kantian notion of conceptually sequenced ideas, it is suggested that the two theories are not only perfectly compatible, but also necessary complements of each other. Law needs justice, justice needs deterrence, and deterrence without justice is an empty and incoherent exercise.

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Journal of Politics and Law ISSN 1913-9047 (Print) ISSN 1913-9055 (Online)  Email:

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