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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.183) Conclusion
The Dignity of Commerce

Nathan B. Oman

University of Chicago Press

This chapter returns to Shakespeare and briefly restates the central normative claim of this book. Markets are morally valuable for reasons unrelated to economic efficiency. They inculcate certain virtues, foster cooperation in pluralistic societies, and generate the wealth that can ameliorate many social evils. They are worthy objects of legal support. Contract law should be organized so as to foster such well-functioning markets. It is the complex moral consequences of commerce, rather than bare economic efficiency, promissory morality, or personal autonomy, which justifies the enforcement of contracts.

Keywords:   contracts, markets, morality, contract law

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