Scanlon on Promissory Obligation

Journal of Philosophy 101 (2):83-109 (2004)
Abstract
This article offers a critique of Thomas Scanlon's well-known account of promissory obligation by reference to the rights of promisees. Scanlon's account invokes a moral principle, the "principle of fidelity". Now, corresponding to a promisor's obligation to perform is a promisee's right to performance. It is argued that one cannot account for this right in terms of Scanlon's principle. This is so in spite of a clause in the principle relating to the promisee's "consent", which might have been thought to do the trick. Most likely this argument can be applied to all "moral principle" accounts of promissory obligation. An alternative both to these and to "social practice" accounts is needed.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0022-362X
DOI 10.5840/jphil200410126
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Citations of this work BETA
Rationality and Salience.Margaret Gilbert - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 57 (1):61-77.
Promises, Rights and Claims.David Alm - 2011 - Law and Philosophy 30 (1):51-76.
The Hybrid Nature of Promissory Obligation.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (3):203–232.

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