Moreover, the intentions of a promising contractual person relate not only to his own interest in the draft joint contract or even to the interest of his promise in this project (as he understands it), but rather to his point of view on the project, since it is in this perspective that he will decide to insist on his performance or to publish it. In this way, the promisor recognizes his promise as an authority over them, in relation to the promised contractual performance. He treats as a final end not only the joint activities described in his contracts, but also his person – his will (which may insist on the obligation to perform or relieve them). Following Kant, one could even say that a contract is “an act of united choice of two persons” (The Metaphysics of Morality 6:271), so that offers and hypotheses “are not presented in such a way as to follow one another, but […] on the basis of one common will” (6:273). From this point of view, each contract establishes a common perspective on the desired performance. The third element of a valid contract requires “consideration” in support of promises made by the parties. See Pick Kwik Food Stores, Inc. v. Tenser, 407 So. 2d 216, 218 (Fla.
2d DCA 1981) (“A binding contract requires consideration.”). The counterparty requires a negotiated exchange in which each party suffers a legal disadvantage. Reformulation § 71. Conversely, “[a] the mere free promise of a future donation without consideration is not enforceable.” Kaufman vs. Härter, 354 Sun. 2d 109, 109 (Fla.3d DCA 1978). The end result is that a new contract is established between the remaining contracting parties and the new contracting party. The outgoing contractual partner is no longer bound by the contract. After the conclusion of the contract, the legal principles apply to the legal relationship. This is less likely if the parties understand what they are doing, what their rights and obligations are, and how to identify potential problems.
Gideon Rosen proposes an alternative conceptual framework for the debate between textualists and contextualists that does not emphasize the semantic intentions of the parts. Following Grice (1957), we can distinguish the semantic intentions of the parties in relation to their acts of speech (intentions to mean this or that in their own words) from their pragmatic and clearly legal intentions (the intention to obtain legal effects through their own acts of speech, such as the creation of a promise enforceable in court). The legal intentions of the parties – which ultimately seem to matter – may differ from their semantic intentions. In re Soper`s Estate (1935) provides an illustration of this. In this case, the testator designated his “wife” as the beneficiary of his estate. However, Soper was legally married to person 1, faked his own death, and then “married” person 2. We can set aside what “wife” objectively means in this context. We can also determine that Soper`s legal intention was to inciss his estate to person 2. Suppose Soper`s semantic intent was to refer to 2 under my wife`s description in the legal sense, on the erroneous assumption that her previous marriage to 1 was not a legal obstacle.
Clearly, the semantic intent to designate 2 as his legally recognized wife would not have been relevant to what Soper was legally trying to obtain by writing his will. We can, of course, construct alternative scenarios in which semantic intent is relevant to Soper`s legal intent. In fact, the interest of contract law in semantic intentions is explained by the fact that, in general, what we want to mean by our words depends on what we are trying to achieve legally. But the succession of In re Soper shows that the link is contingent – the consistency that usually exists between the legal effects we want to produce and the descriptions under which we want to produce them is far from guaranteed. In this impasse, the “pluralist” finds reason to question whether contract law is driven by an evaluative objective or a master principle and not by a multitude of independent and perhaps even immeasurable evaluation objectives. Pluralism is more often assumed in literature than directly defended, and what it defends there usually takes the form of a critique of monist views (see e.B. Hillman 1998). However, the criticism is nuanced because monistic views are presented in such a way that they provide real, albeit incomplete, information on contract law and contribute to the taxonomic project of mapping its underlying values (Hillman, 1998; Class of 2008; Kreitner, 2012). For pluralism to be more than a negative thesis, pluralists have much to do to explain the plural obligations of contract law and, ideally, offer more than a list of values to promote (Lucy 2007). A contract is a legally binding promise or a series of promises between two parties. In this context, a promise is an obligation of a person to do or refrain from doing something when another person does or fails to do something or makes a promise in return. As a result, the debate between textualists and contextualists could be successfully reshaped with respect to: (a) whether the parties` speeches should be examined to determine whether they have impersonal semantic content or the legal intentions of the parties, and (b) whether the court should rely on a narrow or broad evidence base to infer the legally relevant facts about the speech (Rosen 2011, 163).
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