Which Promises Bind?

David Owens

in Shaping the Normative Landscape

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691500
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744938 | DOI:
Which Promises Bind?

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We must distinguish two questions: (a) Does a promise bind? (b) Are we justified in breaking it? Promises made under duress or induced by deception do not bind. We should distinguish two accounts of how this works: the Fault Account and the Infringement Account. The Authority Interest theory supports the Infringement Account and this provides the better explanation. It is also commonly thought that wicked promises do not bind. The Authority Interest theory suggests otherwise and on this point it is again correct, though we may be justified in breaking a wicked promise.

Keywords: duress; deception; fault account; infringement account; wicked promises; authority interest

Chapter.  10655 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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