An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

By Roscoe Pound | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Contract

WEALTH, in a commercial age, is made up largely of promises. An important part of everyone's substance consists of advantages which others have promised to provide for or to render to him; of demands to have the advantages promised, which he may assert not against the world at large but against particular individuals. Thus the individual claims to have performance of advantageous promises secured to him. He claims the satisfaction of expectations created by promises and agreements. If this claim is not secured friction and waste obviously result, and unless some countervailing interest must come into account which would be sacrificed in the process, it would seem that the individual interest in promised advantages should be secured to the full extent of what has been assured to him by the deliberate promise of another. Let us put this in another way. In an earlier chapter I suggested, as a jural postulate of civilized society, that in such a society men must be able to assume that those with whom they deal in the general intercouse of the society will act in good faith, and as a corollary must be able to assume that those with whom they so deal will carry out their undertakings according to the expectations which the moral sentiment of the community attaches thereto. Hence in a commercial and industrial society, a claim or want or demand of society that promises be kept and that undertakings be carried out in good faith, a social interest in the stability of

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An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface to First Edition vii
  • Preface to Revised Edition *
  • Contents *
  • Chapter 1 - The Function of Legal Philosophy 1
  • Chapter 2 - The End of Law 25
  • Chapter 3 - The Application of Law 48
  • Chapter 4 - Liability 72
  • Chapter 5 - Property 107
  • Chapter 6 - Contract 133
  • Bibliography 169
  • Index 189
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