Is the Reasonable Person a Person of Virtue?

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

Abstract

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.

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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.

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