The common law of England and the United States and the civil law of continental Europe have a similar doctrinal structure, a structure not found in the English cases or Roman legal texts from which they supposedly descend. In this original and unorthodox study of common law and legal philosophy the author throws light on the historical origins of this confusion and in doing so attempts to find answers to many of the philosophical puzzles which contract lawyers face today. Reassessing the impact of modern philosophy upon contract law, the author concludes that modern philosophy having failed to provide a new basis for a coherent doctrinal system in the law of contract, the only hope for devising such a coherent system lies in rediscovering the neglected philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas.
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`I cannot do justice to the detail and painstaking scholarship which backs up Gordley's interpretation of contract doctrine. Whatever view one ultimately takes of the argument this is undoubtedly a remarkable work of scholarship and essential reading for anyone with an academic interest in the law of contract ... It achieves its purpose magnificently.' Hugh Collins, Law Quarterly Review `This remarkable (and remarkably concise) book successfully combines an extensive knowledge of legal history and of comparative law with an insightful understanding of the philosophical debates surrounding contract doctrine. Gordley interweaves a number of themes with considerable aplomb, and has provided much that will be of interest to disparate audiences.' N. E. Simmonds, Cambridge Law Journal
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