Chapter

Promises and Requests

Geoffrey Cupit

in Justice as Fittingness

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198238621
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679698 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198238621.003.0004
Promises and Requests

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This chapter discusses the source of the obligation to keep a promise or contract and how it relates to justice. It begins by noting two institution-based accounts as sources of a promissory obligation where the requisite institution exists, and considers the view that promises and contracts may give rise to an obligation even where no relevant institution or practice is in operation. The chapter develops an account of the obligation to keep a promise based on the requirement that one avoids degrading those whom he/she promises. The function of the argument is to defend justice as fittingness by showing that such an account of justice is not in conflict with the view that there is reason to act in accordance with a promissory obligation, by virtue of the very nature of the act of promising. The obligation to meet a request and a request theory of political obligation are also examined.

Keywords: obligation; promises; justice; contracts; fittingness; requests; trust; political obligation

Chapter.  12293 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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