Publication Date

2009

Publication Title

Michigan Law Review

Abstract

Holmes famously proposed a "no fault" theory of contract law: a contract is an option to perform or pay, and a "breach" is therefore not a wrongful act, but merely triggers the duty to pay liquidated or other damages. I elaborate the Holmesian theory, arguing that fault terminology in contract law, such as "good faith," should be given pragmatic economic interpretations, rather than be conceived of in moral terms. I further argue that contract doctrines should normally be alterable only on the basis of empirical investigations.

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