Contracts, Promises and the Law of Obligations

P. S. Atiyah

in Essays on Contract

Published in print August 1990 | ISBN: 9780198254447
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681493 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Contracts, Promises and the Law of Obligations

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The conceptual apparatus which still dominates legal thinking is the apparatus of the nineteenth century. This influence extends not only to law itself, but also to the processes of thoughts and to language in political, moral, and philosophical debate. This chapter illustrates the conceptual framework of contract and its place in the law of obligations as a whole. It argues that that this conceptual apparatus is not based on any objective truths; rather, it is the result of the previous decade's heritage, created and moulded in the shadow of past movements and reflecting the values of yesterday. It further claims the need to recognize that many of the societal values today differ from the values of yesterday, and argues that revising concepts is necessary so that they conform more closely to the values of today and be more functional.

Keywords: conceptual apparatus; obligations; contract; legal thinking; values

Chapter.  21388 words. 

Subjects: Civil Law

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