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Rethinking the Reasonable PersonAn Egalitarian Reconstruction of the Objective Standard$
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Mayo Moran

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199247820

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247820.001.0001

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Just the Facts: Common Sense Ideas of the Normal and the Reasonable Person

Just the Facts: Common Sense Ideas of the Normal and the Reasonable Person

Chapter:
(p.131) 4 Just the Facts: Common Sense Ideas of the Normal and the Reasonable Person
Source:
Rethinking the Reasonable Person
Author(s):

Mayo Moran

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199247820.003.0005

Court cases involving children reveal the extent to which the reasonable person standard, at least in that context, turns on conceptions of what is normal behaviour and what is natural. The history of assumptions about who is ‘normal’ is itself cause for concern. The idea of the normal and the rhetoric of common sense work together to give content to and justify the operation of the reasonable person standard. By tracing out the details of this complicated relationship between the reasonable, the normal, and common sense, this chapter explains how the reasonable person and perhaps the operation of the objective standard more generally may raise serious equality concerns. The role accorded to custom in determinations of negligence is perhaps the most straightforward example of the relationship of normal or ordinary behaviour to determinations of reasonableness. The concept of ordinary prudence and developmental disability are also discussed.

Keywords:   children, common sense, normal behaviour, objective standard, negligence, reasonableness, ordinary prudence, developmental disability

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