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In recent years there has been a revival of interest in the philosophical study of contract law. In 1981 Charles Fried claimed that contract law is based on the philosophy of promise and this has generated what is today known as 'the contract and promise debate'. Cutting to the heart of contemporary discussions, this volume brings together leading philosophers, legal theorists, and contract lawyers to debate the philosophical foundations of this area of law.
Divided into two parts, the first explores general themes in the contract theory literature, including the philosophy of promising, the nature of contractual obligation, economic accounts of contract law, and the relationship between contract law and moral values such as personal autonomy and distributive justice. The second part uses these philosophical ideas to make progress in doctrinal debates, relating for example to contract interpretation, unfair terms, good faith, vitiating factors, and remedies. Together, the essays provide a picture of the current state of research in this revitalized area of law, and pave the way for future study and debate.