Chapter 3. Offer And Acceptance. 1. What Constitutes. A. Necessity Of Offer And Acceptance

Sec. 17. No Contract Without Offer And Acceptance

In every contract, there must be an offer and an acceptance thereof.

Offer and acceptance are essential to contract. That is, there must be, as the courts say, a meeting of the minds. It is true that in some instances we may hold parties to a contract although their minds have not absolutely met on every point, as where one party has not read his contract. And some educators have criticized the statement that there must be a "meeting of minds." But the criticism does not seem sound from a practical standpoint. It is true, as a general proposition, that in every contract there must be an offer, complete enough to result in obligation, either by its express terms or by its implications, and an acceptance of that offer consisting in an agreement with it on every term. If, in any particular case, we hold a person to a term to which he claims he has not in reality assented, as for instance, that he was ignorant of a custom which we must charge him with as entering into the contract, or because he has not read the contract, we do so upon the theory that he must be charged with the knowledge of those terms, Whether in fact he knew them or not. This may be a fiction, but it is a fiction necessary to any reasonable and workable rule. In the same way we are not concerned with a person's secret thoughts, where he claims they were different from what the party with whom he was contracting was entitled to believe them from the words used or acts done by him.

With these explanations we may say that the rule is that in every contract, one party must make a definite offer, intended as such when judged by usual s ...
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