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But to Live Inside the Law, You Must Be Honest

29 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2013  

Claudio Michelon

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Date Written: January 10, 2013


Virtue Ethics has had relatively little impact in legal theory and in the theory of legal reasoning. This paper (a) discusses some crucial reasons why that is the case and tries to identify the burdens of relevance that a theory of virtue has to discharge in order to be taken seriously in theories of legal decision-making. It the (b) discusses the relationship between rule-following the capacity to identify exceptional cases. It does so by analysing the perceptive aspect of prudence using the broader Thomistic ‘inner senses’ and by explaining how those inner senses generate both a zone of perceptual clarity and a peripheral perceptual zone. FInally, it (c) deals with some potential problems of translating a general account of moral perception into the specific context of legal decision-making.

Keywords: Legal decision-making, legal reasoning, virtues, practical wisdom, moral perception

Suggested Citation

Michelon, Claudio, But to Live Inside the Law, You Must Be Honest (January 10, 2013). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2013/02. Available at SSRN:

Claudio Michelon (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

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