Bentham House Annual Conference 2013
The Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law

Friday 10th and Saturday 11th May, 2013

In the last ten years, there has been a revival of interest in the philosophical study of contract law. Much of the discussion related back to Charles Fried's 1981 claim that contract law is based on the philosophy of promise, generating what is today known as 'the contract and promise debate'. The aim of this conference is to tap into this renewal of interest and bring together leading philosophers, legal theorists and contract lawyers to debate the philosophical foundations of this area of law.

Papers will focus on general themes in the contract theory literature, including for example the nature of promising and more generally voluntary obligations, economic, instrumental and pluralistic conceptions of contract, the relationship between contract and other moral concerns such as fault, and the application of these more abstract philosophical ideas to specific doctrinal issues, such as contract formation, contract interpretation, unfair terms, defences and remedies.

The conference is convened by Professor Gregory Klass of the Georgetown University Law Center, Dr. George Letsas of the Faculty of Laws, UCL, and Dr. Prince Saprai of the Faculty of Laws, UCL.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Aditi Bagchi (Fordham)
  • Randy Barnett (Georgetown)
  • Lisa Bernstein (Chicago)
  • Mindy Chen-Wishart (Oxford)
  • Charles Fried (Harvard)
  • Avery Katz (Columbia)
  • Dori Kimel (Oxford)
  • Gregory Klass (Georgetown)
  • Jody Kraus (Columbia)
  • George Letsas (UCL)
  • Daniel Markovits (Yale)
  • Liam Murphy (NYU)
  • David Owens (Reading)
  • James Penner (UCL)
  • Margaret Jane Radin (Michigan)
  • Joseph Raz (Columbia / KCL)
  • Prince Saprai (UCL)
  • Stephen Smith (McGill)
  • Robert Stevens (Oxford)
  • Charlie Webb (LSE)