It is for this reason that promissory estoppel, for example, is dealt with
in treaties on contracts, rather than in books on torts, even though it is
concerned primarily with an assessment of reasonableness, which is the
paradigmatic inquiry of the law of non-intentional torts. Even the most ideo-
logically committed accept that promissory estoppel is not concerned with
the enforcement of voluntarily-assumed obligations
Yet there are two
reasons why this does not make it an exception to mainstream contract
law doctrine. First, as has been demonstrated, contract law is all about the
enforcement of what the law deems appropriate in the circumstances. And
second, promissory estoppel represents nothing other than an alternative
type of formation phase, whose existence is the very hallmark of contract
V. Discrete and Relational Contracts
We are now in a position to consider more carefully the connection between
discrete and relational contracts on the one hand, and the laws of contracts
and torts — more specifically, non-intentional torts — on the other. In order
to avoid confusion between the different meanings of the word “contracts”
that these two dichotomies imply, I propose to refer henceforth to discrete
and relational “contracts” as discrete and relational “associations”. From
now on, this paper will use the word “contracts” only when referring to the
of contracts.
escaping from a correctional facility because he was a reasonably foreseeable victim.
However, the state did not owe a duty to another individual who was attacked while
fishing on a river because he was not a reasonably foreseeable victim.
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