Lawrence B. Solum (Georgetown University Law Center) has posted Virtue as the End of Law (9 Jurisprudence 6-18 (2018)) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This article investigates a virtue-centered approach to normative legal theory in the context of legislation. The core idea of such a theory is that the fundamental aim of law should be the promotion of human flourishing, where a flourishing human life is understood as a life of rational and social activities that express the human excellences. Law can promote flourishing in several ways. Because peace and prosperity are conducive to human flourishing, legislation should aim at the establishment and maintenance of these conditions. The human excellences (or virtues) are developed in childhood and young adulthood by stable and nurturing families and by educational institutions: therefore, the law should support and foster families and schools. Although some critics have argued that an aretaic theory of legislation must support so-called “vice laws,” this is not the case. A virtue-centered approach must take into account the effects produced by criminalization of alcohol, drugs, gambling, and prostitution. If prohibition is counterproductive, then human flourishing may best be supported by a regime of decriminalization or legalization, accompanied by programs of education, treatment, and support.
Comments are welcome via email!