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Jonathan Yovel

Contract Law and Theory

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

What Is Contract Law 'About'? Speech Act Theory And A Critique Of 'Skeletal Promises', Jonathan Yovel Jan 2000

What Is Contract Law 'About'? Speech Act Theory And A Critique Of 'Skeletal Promises', Jonathan Yovel

Jonathan Yovel

What is contract law about? One way of looking at it is to conceive of the subject-matter of contract law in terms of promises - just as tort law arguably revolves around the concepts of accident or harm. Much like accidents - first-year law students are taught - promises are out there in the world, to be classified and distinguished so as to privilege some with legal enforceability. There is a language/world of promises, this approach seems to indicate, and a language/world of contracts. It is a main function of contract law to perform translations from the one to the other ...