San Diego Law Review

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AALS: Rationality of Rule-Following


In this Article, the author is interested in the way in which the benefit principle endorses adherence to personal rules, among other things, because she thinks it is of potential relevance to law. In particular, she believes it provides us with a way of approaching fundamental justificatory questions about basic legal institutions. The question we must ask is whether the rules that govern a given institution are rationally defensible to each person who must live under them, even at moments at which that person would maximize his preferences by abandoning the rule. And this is the question of whether that institution satisfied the benefit principle for each individual contractor whose assent to that institution is required.

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