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Georgetown University Law Center

2008

Criminal Law

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After The Reasonable Man: Getting Over The Subjectivity Objectivity Question, Victoria Nourse Jan 2008

After The Reasonable Man: Getting Over The Subjectivity Objectivity Question, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article challenges the conventional notion of the “reasonable man.” It argues that we make a category mistake when we adopt the metaphor of a human being as the starting point for analysis of the criminal law and instead offers an alternate approach based on heuristic theory, reconceiving the reasonable man as a heuristic that serves as the site for debate over majoritarian norms. The article posits that the debate over having a purely subjective standard and a purely objective standard obscures the commonsense necessity of having a hybrid standard, one which takes into account the characteristics of a particular ...