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The Public of Contract, and of its Justification

Authors
  • Rödl, Sebastian1
  • 1 Universität Leipzig, Germany , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Review of Contract Law
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Jun 25, 2021
Volume
17
Issue
2
Pages
184–197
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/ercl-2021-2025
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Article
License
Yellow

Abstract

In his most enlightening book Benson undertakes to give a public justification of contract law, which he distinguishes from a philosophical justification. This essay argues that this opposition is unsound. Benson’s justification is philosophical because it is internal: the justification contract provides for itself. As the justification is internal, the subject of the justification – those who, through it, understand the authority of contract – is the subject of what is justified: the subject of contract. This is the true public of the justification of contract law. And its justification to that public is nothing other than its philosophical justification. In a second step, the essay sketches how the justification of contract law develops so as to reveal its subject to be a concrete universal: civil society. Since that is understood in its philosophical justification, that, too, does not place the publicity of contract law in opposition to its philosophical understanding.

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