Visions of Contract Theory

Rationality, Bargaining, and Interpretation

by Larry A. DiMatteo, Robert A. Prentice, Blake D. Morant, Daniel D. Barnhizer

Tags: Contracts

276 pp $47.00

ISBN 978-1-59460-217-7

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This book reviews and critiques some of the major theories of contract law. The theories of contract law selected for coverage include law and economics, behavioral decision theory, inequality of bargaining power, law as interpretation (idealism), and critical legal theory. Chapters 2 through 4 examine the use of the themes of rationality and efficiency to rationalize contract law. Chapters 5 and 6 analyze the role of bargaining power in contract law. Chapters 7 and 8 analyze the idealism of Karl N. Llewellyn and Ronald Dworkin that advances the proposition that law is able to obtain internal integrity through a process of theory building. Chapter 9 explores the major tenets of Critical Legal Studies, Critical Race Theory, and Feminist Legal Theory. Chapter 9 also acts as a capstone chapter in that it incorporates much of the analysis provided in the earlier chapters. New theoretical insights into more specific areas of interest are provided, such as the problems of rational choice theory, bargaining power, theory of interpretation, and the use of contextualism as a positive methodology of critical legal theory. In the end, the book should be viewed as a series of independent essays under the very broad umbrella of contract theory.

"Barnhizer's novel use of the concept of bargaining power, to demarcate the classes of transactions properly regulated by the law of contracts from those which are not, is especially interesting…" — Law & Politics Book Review