Virtue and Legal Reasoning

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Virtue; Emotion; Practical Wisdom; Particularism; Specificationism

This article aims to develop an application of virtue theory to the domain of legal reasoning. It argues that a virtue-based theory of legal reasoning illuminates some key aspects of legal reasoning that are peripheral in the standard, principle-based, theories of legal reasoning. More specifically, it claims that a virtue-centered theory of legal reasoning emphasizes the importance of fitting one’s judgment to the particulars of the case, brings to light the emotional and perceptual dimensions of legal argument, and highlights the relevance of description and specification for sound legal reasoning. The paper concludes by suggesting that a virtue perspective on legal reasoning shows that there are important connections between theories of legal ethics and theories of legal reasoning, thereby leading to a significant expansion of the field

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