Agreements: A Philosophical and Legal Study by Oliver Black

By Oliver Black

Combining rigorous philosophical research with a deep wisdom of legislation, this learn of agreements illuminates felony doctrine by way of philosophical idea and vice versa. opposed to the existing philosophical view of agreements, the ebook argues that they're to be understood in phrases now not of gives you yet of supply and attractiveness. themes lined contain the duties linked to agreements; the sensible reasoning that leads events to make and practice agreements; the relation among contract and goal; and the explanations the nation has to intrude in agreements. There also are separate chapters dedicated to doctrines of contract within the legislation of agreement, pageant and conspiracy.

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It is not the case that if Y does not do Ay then X does Ax. If (4) then, if X complies with his promise, X complies with the agreement. 44 One response to (6) is to point out that, if X fails to do Ax, he runs the risk of failing to comply with the promise: that happens if Y does Ay. ) The response fails for two reasons: the conditional just stated both has a false antecedent in some instances and is consistent with (6). A better response distinguishes kinds of compliance. Here compliance with promises is at issue, but the same distinction applies to compliance with agreements, obligations and so on; given the importance of compliance in an account of agreement and of its relations to other phenomena, the response has an interest beyond that of the present objection.

Once the agreement is made, X’s reasoning to performance may instantiate the schema: (i) I am obligated to f; (ii) other things are equal; so (iii) I will f. Preliminary reasoning to the relevant instance of (i) may use the premiss ‘If I and Y agree that , then I am obligated to do Ax’; this is an indexical variant of the principle discussed in Chapter 3 and, like that principle, is subject to provisos. Given that, as explained in Chapter 3, X’s obligation to do Ax is grounded in a reason for him to do Ax, X may alternatively reason in accordance with a variant of the schema, which replaces (i) with: there is a reason for me to f.

2 n. 51 below. Prichard (2002f), 259 says that ‘undertake’, ‘promise’ and ‘agree’ are all ‘equivalent’. Compare Trollope (2004), 168: ‘That is all very well; but is she to give any undertaking? ’ 10 On oaths, see Aquinas (1894), II f, q 89; S. Smith (2004), 186. , q 88; de Moor (1987), 109; Fried (1981), 40 ff. , an offer of a reward, are like oaths, and (in S. ) that they are like vows. 36 below. 11 For the same approach in the rhetorical tradition, see Skinner (1996), 108 f. 12 Some philosophers hold that all thinking consists of computations on sentences in the ‘language of thought’.

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