Objectivity and Subjectivity in Contract Law: A Copernican Response to Professor Shiffrin

Abstract
This is a response to Seana Shiffrin’s recent and important contribution to the continuing debate whether there is a universal moral or economic truth at the heart of contract law. While she adopts an unduly simplistic view of the divergence of morality in promise-keeping and contract law, her most significant advance toward a general theory of promise and contract is her identification of the critical moment at which the interposition of the public in a private matter occurs or is contemplated. This essay carries that theme forward, suggesting that a universal justification for contract law is not possible because the law, by its very nature, objectifies what was heretofore a private relationship
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