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Legal Reasoning (Virtues)

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Subjective Traits in Legal Reasoning

Much of the theory of legal reasoning in the last century has been marked by the felt need to respond to the formidable challenge presented, in different shapes and forms, by the claim that legal decision-making was ultimately (and/or should be) a product of a judge’s subjectivity. The “Freirecht” movement in Germany and certain trends within American Legal Realism offer articulated expressions of a more inarticulate impression shared by many: the decision-maker’s subjectivity plays a pivotal, perhaps a preponderant, role in legal decision-making. As K N Llewellyn once put it, “…the unfortunate effects of a particular ill-advised breakfast do alter the advocate’s practical problem”(Llewellyn 1940: 592), a point that has recently found some empirical support (Danziger et al. 2011). In our days, this challenge is alive and well and found some additional credence in the blossoming “heuristic and bias” literature in cognitive psychology (e.g.,...

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Correspondence to Claudio Michelon .

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Michelon, C. (2021). Legal Reasoning (Virtues). In: Sellers, M., Kirste, S. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Springer, Dordrecht.

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