William Vitek enlarges our understanding by treating the act of promising as a social practice and complex human experience. Citing engaging examples of promises made in everyday life, in extraordinary circumstances, and in literary works, Vitek grapples with the central paradox of promising: that human beings can intend a future to which they are largely blind. "Promising" evaluates contemporary approaches to the topic by such philosophers as John Rawls, John Searle, Henry Sidgwick, P.S. Atiyah, and Michael Robbins but transcend their more limited focus on promissory obligation. Vitek's innovative approach moves beyond theories of language, ethics, and law to unveil a complex human activity subject to shifting interpretations and changes in nature. Author note: William Vitek is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Clarkson University and the co-editor of "Applying Philosophy".