Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



It has been thirty years since Arthur Corbin's eight-volume treatise on contracts appeared in condensed form as a one-volume edition. No scholarly book on contract law of comparable scope has been published since. This void in contract law scholarship has been filled only by the occasional law review article, by books discussing particular aspects of contract law, and by the ongoing revisions of the Restatement of Contracts that culminated in the publication of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts in 1979.

The dominant legal climate has not been friendly to any form of literature that attempts to explicate legal doctrine systematically, and this attitude has been particularly prevalent in contract law. That Professor Farnsworth's treatise on contracts should make its appearance now is, therefore, a development worth explaining. It is my contention that the publication of this book at this time may be in part a product of the increased support from legal philosophers in recent years for traditional forms of legal reasoning based on principle and expressed through doctrine.

Publication Citation

Randy E. Barnett, Contract Scholarship and the Reemergence of Legal Philosophy, 97 Harv. L. Rev. 1223 (1984) (Reviewing Contracts by E. Allan Farnsworth)