Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Dignity of Commerce – Markets and the Moral Foundations of Contract Law - Chicago Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

The Dignity of Commerce: Markets and the Moral Foundations of Contract Law

Nathan B. Oman


Why should the law enforce contracts? This book argues that contract law exists primarily to support markets but that markets should be understood as normatively desireable for reasons beyond mere economic efficiency. This book thus updates the doux commerce argument of 18th-century theorists such as Montesquieu and Adam Smith, who saw markets as an important and largely positive moral and political influence. Commerce tends to inculcate a set of moral habits -- virtues -- that support liberal political regimes by forcing market participants to view the world from another's point of view. M ... More

Keywords: contracts, legal theory, markets, law, economics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226415529
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226415666.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Nathan B. Oman, author
William and Mary Law School