A “meeting of the minds” — the greater illusion

Law and Philosophy 15 (3):271 - 291 (1996)


Despite a superficial similarity in circumstance, the dynamics of the judicial process of contract interpretation are not equivalent to the circumstances giving rise to the Primacy Dilemma. The Primacy Dilemma involves two parties; the judicial process involves a third: the court. This distinction is critical for while Wittgenstein's exposé of the Primacy Dilemma as illusion does not require that centuries of refinements to theories of contract interpretation be scrapped, it does require an abandonment of the ideal that courts “do not and cannot make contracts; courts merely enforce agreements that the parties themselves have reached.”

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