Francesco Cerrone

On Legal Experience: Capograssi, Orestano, Giuliani

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The essay revolves around the positions of Capograssi, Orestano and Giuliani on the concept of legal experience. Common to the thinking of these authors is reflection on the independent, not merely instrumental role of legal science and law, and on the related putting into focus of a constitutive facet of law. The three scholars, each of whom recognizes a significant indebtedness to the thought of G. Vico, read legal experience as a complex plot, wholly immersed in its historicity, a plot in which human actions search for ways to settle conflicts over interests and passions. None of the three contests the importance of the normative factor in legal experience, or that of the dogmatic. However, the world of legal experience cannot be explored with the pretence of penetrating into a closed ambit, reserved for a science that wields exclusively instruments forged by legal technique. Conceptual abstraction, while necessary, hides pitfalls and misunderstandings of capital importance for the jurist. The nexus between the concrete nature of the legal, its conceptual elaboration, and meditation on human history are at the centre of the profound contribution of reflection offered by these three great jurists, each, for that matter, naturally engaged in his own itinerary of research, original and teeming with precious elements for those who intend, today, to question themselves on the legal world and on its science.

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