Agreements Or Promises

Second, the treaty can be seen as the legal analogue to the promise. Both the treaty and the promises allow people to assume new obligations to each other if they wish. Each is a kind of normative power, one legal, the other moral. The chapter concludes with the argument that these two ways of thinking about contract law are not mutually exclusive. Contract law imposes on the parties to swaps a legal obligation to perform for reasons independent of the possible contractual intent of the parties and gives them the power to assume this legal obligation if they so intend, because they intend to do so. While everyone agrees that contractual commitments are made voluntarily, agreements, not promises (as is traditionally claimed), are the form of voluntary commitments that underpin treaties. Agreements and promises have different normative functions, and by examining Shiffrin`s discussion of voluntary commitments between intimate persons, it is shown that agreements, not contracts, are types of obligations that generally take intimacy, and that safeguarding or keeping promises in intimate relationships is typically “pathological” or “dysfunctional.” Finally, it is argued that the conclusion of agreements does not need a convention; All we need are the abilities of practical reason and interpersonal communication. The study of promises and agreements is experiencing a renaissance in many areas of social philosophy, including linguistic philosophy, action theory, normative ethics, value theory, and legal philosophy. This volume is the first collection of philosophical works on promises and agreements, which brings together sixteen original contributions to philosophical literature. Contributors highlight some of the most interesting aspects of the pervasive social phenomena of promises and agreements from different philosophical angles. . .

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