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Calculating PromisesThe Emergence of Modern American Contract Doctrine$
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Roy Kreitner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804753982

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804753982.001.0001

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Speculating on Gifts and Promises

Speculating on Gifts and Promises

(p.83) Four Speculating on Gifts and Promises
Calculating Promises
Stanford University Press

Over the past hundred years, the question of consideration has been tied to which promises should be enforced by the law. The classical scholars' vision of contract may be compared with several other ideas through which the obligations of relationship could be regulated or managed. In particular, there are three parallel approaches to distinguishing contract from other forms of regulation: the distinction between contract and status, between a contract economy and an economy of gift exchange, and between a system of regulation dealing with the formation of obligation and one dealing with its contents. These distinctions converge in three areas: the reimagination of the market as a distinct sphere of activity, the conception of the judicial role, and the creation of an ideal image of the contracting individual or calculating subject.

Keywords:   contract, gifts, promises, status, gift exchange, obligation, regulation, market, judicial role, calculating subject

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