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The Dignity of CommerceMarkets and the Moral Foundations of Contract Law$
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Nathan B. Oman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226415529

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226415666.001.0001

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(p.112) Chapter Six Remedies
The Dignity of Commerce

Nathan B. Oman

University of Chicago Press

Since the 1930s, contract law theory has been obsessed with the proper measure of contract damages. Contract remedies, however, present issues beyond the choice between expectation or reliance damages and specific performance. Like other forms of civil liability, contract law requires that damages be paid from defendants to plaintiffs and that only wronged parties may initiate lawsuits. The dominant theories of contract do a poor job explaining either bilateralism or private standing. Seen from this angle, contract remedies provide a system of limited private retaliation. This system of retaliation, in turn, can foster market trust while limiting the damage that such aggression can cause to the more peaceful norms associated with commerce.

Keywords:   remedies, bilateralism, private standing

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