Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Moral Writings$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

H. A. Prichard and Jim MacAdam

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250197.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2020

The Obligation to Keep a Promise

The Obligation to Keep a Promise

(p.257) 12. The Obligation to Keep a Promise
Moral Writings

H. A. Prichard

Oxford University Press

A promise to do some action seems to create a binding obligation to do that action. And yet, paradoxically, an obligation seems not to be a fact that we can create or bring into existence; we can create an obligation only by creating or bringing into existence something else. The only way to avoid the paradox is to show that the act of promising creates something other than an obligation, which nonetheless binds us to perform the action in question. After considering and rejecting various options such as the promisee's expectation and the promisor's resolve, Prichard locates the bindingness of a promise in a prior general promise, which allows the noises we make when promising to generate an obligation to perform the promised action.

Keywords:   action, expectation, obligation, paradox, promise, resolve

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .