Is the Reasonable Person a Person of Virtue?

Res Publica 26 (2):157-179 (2020)


The ‘reasonable person standard’ is often called on in difficult legal cases as the last resource to be appealed to when other solutions run out. Its complexity derives from the controversial tasks that people place on it. Two dialectics require some clarification: the objective/subjective interpretation of the standard and the ideal/ordinary person controversy. I shall move through these dialectics from the standpoint of an EV approach, assuming that on this interpretation the RPS can perform most persuasively its tasks. The all-round model of phronetic agent that I present not only works better than competing models—such as the utilitarian–economic and the Rawlsian—in the law of tort but shows its best potentialities in other kinds of cases. In criminal law and matrimonial law cases the recourse to the EV approach offers through the virtues rich and substantial resources to evaluate conflictual cases. This approach makes the threshold of evaluation much closer to real life than competitors.

Download options


    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,722

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

26 (#443,927)

6 months
2 (#259,476)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Virtue and Reason.John McDowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.
The Morality of Happiness.Julia Annas - 1993 - Oxford University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rape and the Reasonable Man.C. D. & K. Haely - 1999 - Law and Philosophy 18 (2):113-139.
The "Reasonable Person" and the Psychopath.Jeffrey Bedrick - 2014 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 21 (1):13-15.
Individualizing the Reasonable Person in Criminal Law.Peter Westen - 2008 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 2 (2):137-162.
Against Personifying the Reasonable Person.Matt King - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (4):725-732.
Rape and the Reasonable Man.Donald C. Hubin & Karen Haely - 1999 - Law and Philosophy 18 (2):113-139.
Reason and Certainty.O. R. Jones - 1970 - Philosophy 45 (171):55 - 58.
Parsing the Reasonable Person: The Case of Self-Defense.Andrew Ingram - 2012 - American Journal of Criminal Law 39 (3):101-120.
Reasons and Oughts.David Barnet Conter - 1983 - Dissertation, Mcgill University (Canada)
The Price of Virtue.Anne Margaret Baxley - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (4):403–423.