Calculating Promises: The Emergence of Modern American by Roy Kreitner

By Roy Kreitner

This ebook is a historical past of yank agreement legislation round the flip of the 20th century. It meticulously info shifts in our notion of agreement through juxtaposing scholarly debts of agreement with case legislation, and indicates how the situations express conflicts for which scholarship bargains only one of many attainable answers.Breaking with traditional knowledge, the writer argues that our present realizing of agreement isn't the outgrowth of sluggish refinements of a centuries-old concept. particularly, agreement as we now understand it was once formed by way of a revolution in deepest legislation undertaken towards the top of the 19th century, while criminal students confirmed calculating promisors because the centerpiece in their inspiration of contract.The writer continues that the revolution in agreement pondering is better understood in a body of reference wider than the principles governing the formation and enforcement of contracts. That body of reference is a cultural negotiation over the character of the person topic and the position of the person in a society present process transformation. components of critical main issue contain the enforceability of supplies to make presents; the connection of contracts to hypothesis and playing; and the matter of incomplete contracts.

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35 There is reason to doubt the soundness of this reasoning, but the point here is not to critique Langdell’s conclusions about the truth of consideration. Instead, the question is how eliminating this additional function of consideration helped to establish the framework for a promise-centered vision of contract. For this purpose, it is worthwhile to look at how Langdell continues the discussion: What has been said in the preceding paragraph does not in strictness relate to the subject of “consideration;” but it was necessary to say it in this connection, because the case of Dutton v.

41 To get a feel for the way a debate over consideration made the doctrine central, it is helpful to focus on what was agreed upon and what was in conflict during the debate. The underlying point of convergence in this 39. See 1 Parsons, Law of Contracts, 353–408. Parsons devotes approximately forty-five pages to consideration, and ten to assent. As an indication of consideration’s relative importance or lack thereof, this is about one-third of the space devoted to bailments. See id. at 569–722.

Holmes’s discussion in The Common Law attempts an analogous maneuver, but with a different focus. See Holmes, Common Law, 164–205. Holmes works through the common law on bailment to show,  gifts and promises revisited Determining the Extent of Liability A third area of preclassical contract law where consideration played a role unconnected to the enforceability of promises was in determining the extent of damages available for the breach of a contractual obligation. 32 The classical response was to insist that consideration was a binary variable: either consideration was present, resulting in expectation damages for breach, or consideration was absent, resulting in no damages whatsoever.

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