Seminar: Pedro Múrias – The Value of Obligation in impossible contracts


I argue that it is possible and useful to account for the content of contracts in terms of value, and not in terms of obligations. I focus on impossible contracts, i.e., contracts whose performance is impossible from the moment of their conclusion. One advantage of describe the content of contracts in terms of value is that (positive or negative) value is not generally affected by the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, and therefore impossible contracts can assign value to non-performance even if they cannot generate the correspondent obligation. A second advantage is that an event may have some (positive or negative) value in virtue of a subsequent event, and therefore an impossible contract can assign negative value to the cause of impossibility.

Discussant: Professor Claudio Michelon