Greg Keating is the Maurice Jones, Jr. Class of 1925 Professor of Law and Philosophy at the USC Gould School of Law. He has a PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton and a JD from Harvard. At USC he teaches torts, professional responsibility, and seminars in legal and political philosophy. After graduating from Harvard, he practiced law in Massachusetts for five years before entering law teaching. He has been a visiting professor at the Harvard and Yale Law Schools, at the Faculty of Jurisprudence at the University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy, and at the Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Keating is an editor of a torts casebook and writes on torts and legal theory. He has published articles on the morality of reasonable risk imposition and the law of negligence more generally; on the history of and moral justification for strict liability in tort; on why justice requires that we take inefficiently great precaution against significant risks of death and devastating injury; and on issues of professional responsibility.
During his fellowship, Keating will be working on a book project, entitled Reasonableness and Risk. Reasonableness and Risk attempts to extend a non-consequentialist moral framework to problems of accidental harm. In the modern legal academy, and in policy discourse about risk and precaution more generally, accidental harm is assumed to be the domain of consequentialist reasoning—of utility, efficiency, and cost-benefit analysis. Our ordinary ways of thinking and speaking about safety are at odds with this academic consensus. We speak in terms of rights, wrongs, and responsibilities. We believe that we are entitled to impose some risks on others as a matter of right; that we are sometimes responsible for avoiding accidental harm even if it would be efficient to impose the harm; and that sometimes even harm that should not have been avoided should be repaired by those responsible for its infliction. These convictions cut across law, regulation, and our ordinary ways of speaking and acting, and they deny that questions of risk and precaution are merely matters of efficient resource use. Reasonableness and Risk seeks to vindicate these common-sense convictions by showing that it makes sense to think of our practices of risk imposition in terms of what we owe to each other as a matter of justice, and that so doing lends support to principles of precaution that consequentialists often dismiss as irrational.