Contract as Promise: A Theory of Contractual Obligation

Paperback | May 29, 2015

byCharles Fried

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Contract as Promise is a study of the philosophical foundations of contract law in which Professor Fried effectively answers some of the most common assumptions about contract law and strongly proposes a moral basis for it while defending the classical theory of contract. This book providestwo purposes regarding the complex legal institution of the contract. The first is the theoretical purpose to demonstrate how contract law can be traced to and is determined by a small number of basic moral principles. At the theory level the author shows that contract law does have an underlying,and unifying structure. The second is a pedagogic purpose to provide for students the underlying structure of contract law. At this level of doctrinal exposition the author shows that structure can be referred to moral principles. Together the two purposes support each other in an effective andcomprehensive study of contract law. This second edition retains the original text, and includes a new Preface. It also includes a substantial new essay entitled Contract as Promise in the Light of Subsequent Scholarship--Especially Law and Economics which serves as a retrospective of the work accomplished in the last thirty years,while responding to present and future work in the field.

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Contract as Promise is a study of the philosophical foundations of contract law in which Professor Fried effectively answers some of the most common assumptions about contract law and strongly proposes a moral basis for it while defending the classical theory of contract. This book providestwo purposes regarding the complex legal insti...

Charles Fried is the Beneficial Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School. He is a former Solicitor General of the United States and a former Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. He has published widely across private law and the intersections of law, morality and politics.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.19 × 5.51 × 0.71 inPublished:May 29, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190240164

ISBN - 13:9780190240165

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Table of Contents

Preface to the First EditionPreface to the Second Edition1. Introduction: The Life of Contract2. Contract as PromisePromiseThe Moral Obligation of PromiseWhat a Promise is WorthRemedies in and around the Promise3. Consideration4. Answering a Promise: Offer and AcceptancePromises and VowsAcceptance and the Law of Third-Party BeneficiariesThe Simple Circuitry of Offer and AcceptanceRejections, Counteroffers, Contracts at a Distance, Crossed OffersReliance on an Offer5. GapsMistake, Frustration, and ImpossibilityLetting the Loss Lie Where It FallsParallels with General Legal Theory: An ExcursionFilling the Gaps6. Good Faith"Honesty in Fact"Good Faith in Performance7. Duress and UnconscionabilityDuressCoercion and RightsPropertyHard BargainsUnconscionability, Economic Duress, and Social JusticeBad Samaritans8. The Importance of Being RightYou Can Always Get Your Money BackConditionsWaivers, Forfeitures, RepudiationsContract as Promise in the Light of Subsequent Scholarship-Especially Law and EconomicsNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Contract as Promise has had nothing short of a transformative effect on the theory of contract. Fried's inimitably eloquent prose made tremendous philosophical depth as well as doctrinal insight uniquely accessible to a new generation of contract scholars, provided a canonical restatement ofthe liberal tradition in contract theory, and shaped the contours of the academic debate in its field for ideological friends and foes alike. The book's enduring legacy can hardly be exaggerated, and the timely publication of this Second Edition cements that legacy for many more years to come." --Dori Kimel, Reader in Legal Philosophy, University of Oxford