Choice theory: a restatement

Hanoch Dagan, Michael Heller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter restates choice theory, which advances a liberal approach to contract law. First, we refine the concept of autonomy for contract. Then we address range, limit, and floor, three principles that together justify contract law in a liberal society. The first concerns the state’s obligation to be proactive in facilitating the availability of a multiplicity of contract types. The second refers to the respect contract law owes to the autonomy of a party’s future self, that is, to the ability to re-write the story of one’s life. The final principle concerns relational justice, the baseline for any legitimate use of the contract power. We conclude this restatement of choice theory by highlighting its most important jurisprudential payoff-how our account relates to and improves on the economic analysis of contract. Choice theory is the modest price that economic analysis must pay to account for individual freedom.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Private Law Theory
EditorsHanoch Dagan, Benjamin C. Zipursky
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781788971621
ISBN (Print)9781788971614
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Legal Theory
  • Law of Obligations
  • Legal Philosophy


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