In The Puzzle of the Beneficiary’s Bargain, Nicolas Cornell describes a jurisprudential puzzle concerning contract law’s treatment of third-party beneficiaries and contends that, to resolve the puzzle, we must radically revise our understanding of contractual obligation. This Response raises some difficulties for the revised understanding of contractual obligation that Cornell proposes. It then suggests an alternative way of resolving Cornell’s puzzle—one that leaves our ordinary understanding of contractual obligation intact.

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