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Hanoch Dagan is among “those who think it advantageous to get as much ethics into the law as they can,” in the phrase of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. His pluralism is a perfectionism for polytheists: There are many human goods, and each has its domain, including some portion of the law of property. Depending on where we stand on the property landscape at any time, we may be community-minded sharers, devoted romantics in marriage, or coolly rational market actors, and the local property law will smooth each of these paths for us. Property law is built on the design of the multifarious human heart, or, if you prefer, the many purposes we pursue in our projects and relationships. Each of these implies a way of regarding others – as arm’s length collaborators, joint venturers, or other halves whose purposes we have joined to ours; property’s default rules anticipate and confirm these various attitudes.


Environmental Law | International Humanitarian Law | International Law | Law | Property Law and Real Estate


This article originally appeared in 113 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 9 (2013). Reprinted by permission.