Talk:Reasonable person

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legal fiction[edit]

Concerning "a legal fiction"; were I the original author, I might choose to open the article with a tone less aggressive and more informative to the layperson. "Legal fiction" is a term of art. I don't believe it should be the "definitional headline." It is; however, accurate. Restatement (Second) of Torts §283 comment c (1965) ("The reasonable man is a fictitious person, who is never negligent, and whose conduct is always up to standard.") In Vaughan v Menlove (1837) 132 ER 490 the "legal fiction" is implied. First, when the jury was instructed that the defendant was required to have acted as a "prudent man" would have acted under those circumstances. And then under review, the directive was deemed too vague. Further, it was determined that a defendant acting honstly and bona fide to the best of his own judgement would afford no rule at all and leave open infinitely variable individual judgement. Nuance aside, the foundation for the "legal fiction" for the basis of comparison exists. The "reasonable person" is a fact assumed or created by courts. Wermsker (talk) 21:00, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

To eliminate the "citation needed" might I suggest:

  • Bedder v Director of Public Prosecutions [1954] 1 WLR 1119 (where "reasonable man" is deemed a wholly impersonal fiction to which no special characteristic of the accused should be attributed)
  • Camplin [1978] A.C. 705 (a reasonable man "means an ordinary person of either sex, not exceptionally excitable or pugnacious, but possessed of such powers of self control as everyone is entitled to expect that his fellow citizens will exercise in society as it is today")
  • R v Smith (2000) 4 AER 289 (citing Champlin and Bedder: a preasonable man "is a person having the power of self-control to be expected of an ordinary person of the sex and age of the accused, but in other respects sharing such of the accused's characteristics as they think would affect the gravity of the provocation to him; and that the question is not merely whether such a person would in like circumstances be provoked to lose his self-control but also whether he would react to the provocation as the accused did")

That said, I maintain that a citation is of modest benefit if not entirely unnecessary. From conceptual inception, the question has never been "is the 'reasonable person' fictional?" I submit the question has always been, 'Is a reasonable person defined in accordance with a particular normative ethical commitment or in accordance with an empirically observed practice or perception?' I posit that a reasonable person, possessed of minimal education, should have little difficulty exploring the nature of "legal fiction" (given the link) were they so inclined. Wermsker (talk) 06:24, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

WP:BOLD -- Foofighter20x (talk) 07:40, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

reasonable woman[edit]

regarding sexual harassment and the vulnerability of women: either provide a citation to support the text in the article, or kindly remove the text. as this is presumably a matter that has received non-trivial attention in the last 2 decades in the US, a citation ought not be difficult to find, if in fact the information given is correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.130.81.47 (talk) 05:58, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

reasonable man[edit]

  • Reasonable man - nonsense. Vancouverguy 18:25, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)
    (Ref: [1])
    • Blatant nonsense. Delete. Kosebamse 18:39, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)
    • Original contributor now replaced it with a long text that looks copyrighted, as it is apparently from a scientific journal. (Notably, the text included the source that it was copied from). Kosebamse 19:48, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)
      (Ref: [2])

Note from copyright holder: Re:http://users.ox.ac.uk/~jrlucas/reasble.html

Copyright http://users.ox.ac.uk/~jrlucas/index.html Except for the Darwin lecture on Time and Religion, you are welcome to download a single copy of anything on this site for your own personal use, and to make further copies for teaching purposes that are not profit-making. If you want to include an article of mine in an anthology, you should ask my permission, which will be granted on the following terms: . TWO copies to be given me (one for me, one for Merton Library).

. A royalty on each copy sold, calculated thus: (recommended retail price divided by 10) times (number of pages of my contribution divided by total number of pages).

[For short runs---under 1,000---I am prepared to waive the payment as being negligible. But a few of my articles have been much reprinted, and I think it is only fair that I should have some share in the proceeds.]

The material might be badly written, but the topic is not nonsense, of course. "Reasonable" and "reasonable man" have specific meaning in law, and this technical meaning belongs in an encyclopedia. Mkmcconn 20:30, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)

  • If that is so, write something about the subject and we will kiss your feet ;-) Kosebamse 20:09, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)
    • Perhaps, though, if that article is written, someone is bound to come along sooner or later and claim that it belongs at reasonable person. -- IHCOYC 20:55, 18 Aug 2003 (UTC)

It's a beautiful stub, now. Evercat 00:00, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)


Can someone expand on any exceptions or modifications for mental or physical disabilities of someone under trial verses the reasonable man standard? Either in the article or on this talk page?


'Reasonable person' is a fairly common concept in law, and it is god to have a page on it. The page should probably be expanded, however, and I think there should be more criticism of the concept. - Matthew238 23:22, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Bonus pater[edit]

I'm used to a similar concept called "bonus pater". I see the French Wikipedia has an article: fr:Bon père de famille. Is this latinism not used in English? Haukur 16:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The Standard by Which All Else is Measured[edit]

I assume that the primary reason for including the reasonable man is that, if we all don't live up to the standard of the reasonable man, then we are being unreasonable. Hence, it makes sense that the reasonable man would have some scientific attributes (I won't go into saying things like eye colour, etc... but IQ would seem to be an important trait of the reasonable man, together with religious and ethical codes/morals, etc... - which opens up a whole can of worms). Thus, the following quote from Power (sociology) seems applicable here :

"The unmarked category can form the identifying mark of the powerful. The unmarked category becomes the standard against which to measure everything else. For most Western readers, it is posited that if a protagonist's race is not indicated, it will be assumed by the reader that the protagonist is Caucasian; if a sexual identity is not indicated, it will be assumed by the reader that the protagonist is heterosexual; "

The point is that you would ideally definie some kind of scientific "average" for the reasonable man and then apply it.

CountNihilismus 01:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Reasoning is an art and a science, or more properly it is beyond any art or science. We reason about truths of some art or science. What is or is not a reasonable person can be formalized in in doxastic logic.Greg Bard 23:53, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Alternation between 'he' and 'she'[edit]

I found the repeated alternation between 'he' and 'she' distracting and unnecessary 202.74.220.129 (talk) 22:32, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but that's the way it is. Present style in English is to refer to a generic person with the female pronoun "she". The "he" you seem to be having problems with is the older, pre-modern style of using a generic male pronoun to refer to the generic person. It would have been "she" througnout the entire article, but for the fact the any "he" you find is in a quote. Foofighter20x (talk) 09:30, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
The Wikipedia policy is to go by whatever usage the original author used.Greg Bard 00:00, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

reasonable person's understanding and effect upon reasonable person[edit]

I want to commend the excellent work on the body and actions of a reasonable person. I have added two small sections to the page owing to the pages title "reasonable person". These were in regards to the reasonable person's understanding and the effect upon the reasonable when exposed to outside stimulus. Of the two, the second one appears from my reading mainly in French and I think deserves an entire page. Please keep the section I prepared as the title to help people that search for this term in Wiki to find at least some references to how this version of the reasonable person has played a pivotal role in censorship in the United States. Regarding the former, I will acknowledge that since the heading of the page is criminal law, that perhaps a case could be made that the understandings of the reasonable person should be placed upon the page Offer and Acceptance. I do agree the subject should be expanded upon on that page since it barely mentions it and it wasn't until I spent some effort trying to track down any reference in tort to the reasonable man that I finally found that horrible reminder of a lengthy 16-page document I once had to deal with in Hawaii. The Deposit Receipt Acceptance and Offer. Yuck. One justification to keep at least a mention of the contractural understandings of the reasonable person is these in many circumstances may end up with criminal proceedings. ThanksPbmaise (talk) 21:41, 18 February 2012 (UTC)