Who Cares?: The Profound History of Liability Law (Paperback)
Law today misnames civil liability as tort law when instead we should call it the law of care or better yet the law of love. Don't be surprised that law has always concerned itself so much with love. This book examines the earliest recovered law fragments from 4,500 years ago, reflecting even then the venerated law of care. Chapters survey civil-liability laws from Hammurabi's Code 4,000 years ago to the Covenant Code 3,500 years ago, Christ 2,000 years ago, Roman codes 1,500 years ago, old-English laws 1,000 years ago, and natural-law treatises 500 years ago, up to the Declaration of Independence and early American jurists 200 years ago. All knew and reflected care's critical value to law. Civil-liability law needs this historical and philosophical perspective, given its present political attention, special-interest lobbying, propaganda-like attacks, judicial reversals, and piecemeal and no-fault legislation. Materialism strips civil-liability law of history, dignity, and value, replacing the law of care with utilitarian doctrines calling care a burden, cost, or loss. Care is instead law's organizing concept, prime goal, and principal value. We need to know what civil liability meant from beginning of recorded time, how the wise handed it down through the ages, and what it means to us today. We need a natural history of the law of love. Who cares? We should all care. Love harms no neighbor but instead fulfills the law.