Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Shaping the Normative Landscape$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Owens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691500

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691500.001.0001

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: 25 November 2020

The Promissory Interest

The Promissory Interest

Chapter:
(p.142) 6 The Promissory Interest
Source:
Shaping the Normative Landscape
Author(s):

David Owens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691500.003.0007

Various theories of promising are best understood as attempts to explain the distinctive features of the promissory bond in terms of the human interest served by promising. The function of a promise is not to serve our interest in social co-ordination but rather to serve our authority interest, our interest in controlling what others are obliged to do. A promise can serve this interest only when there is a social practice of taking promises seriously. Such a practice is constituted by a shared habit (rather than a collective policy) of recognizing that promises bind. This practice has an intelligible genealogy in that our habits evolve to serve our normative interests. But once such a practice has come into existence, we have the possibility of bare wronging, of people being wronged by breach of promise even though their interests (both normative and non-normative) are unaffected by it.

Keywords:   authority interest, function, genealogy, practice, bare wronging, shared habit, collective policy

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 .