Massimo Vogliotti is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy), where he is the Scientific Director of the Alessandro Galante Garrone Chair. His research field stands at the crossroads of legal theory and penal law. The central idea unifying his research is the crisis in the modern legal paradigm (using Thomas Kuhn’s definition of paradigm shift) and its effects on the identity of law, legal science and the legal scholar. Hence Vogliotti’s recent interest in the question of legal training. He is notably the author of the study “Legalità” published in the Annali de l’Enciclopedia del diritto (Giuffrè, 2013) and of the following books: Tra fatto e diritto. Oltre la modernità giuridica (2007) and Dove passa il confine? Sul divieto di analogia nel diritto penale (2011), both published by Giappichelli. For the same publishing house, Vogliotti edited a collective work entitled Il tramonto della modernità giuridica. Un percorso interdisciplinare (2008).
He is a member of the editorial committees of Droit et Société (acting as its Italian correspondent), Revue interdisciplinaire d’études juridiques and Les cahiers de la justice (the journal of the École Nationale de la Magistrature).
This research project addresses the question of legal training, which, after long being neglected by the scientific communities of civil law countries, has finally sparked the interest it deserves in the past few years.
This change in attitude is unsurprising. The model for legal teaching conceived in the modern era (and still largely dominant today) currently reveals its complete inability to train legal scholars who can manage the complexity of law and contemporary society. This model is linked to a conception of law and legal knowledge that has undergone an increasingly profound crisis since the end of the Second World War.
Inspired by Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm shift theory, the first portion of the research project aims to show the close ties that exist between the medieval and modern models of legal education, as well as the ontological and epistemological characteristics of the corresponding legal paradigms.
The second portion is aimed at imagining a pedagogical model that is in phase with the new paradigmatic framework, characterised by reconnecting legal knowledge with the Aristotelian tradition of practical philosophy, and by rehabilitating the pre-modern category of the unavailable (the fundamental values of society guaranteed by constitutions). The fundamental hypothesis of this research is that this scientific revolution and the profound transformations of the contemporary legal experience require legal scholars who are not just good legal technicians (an approach that runs the risk of becoming dominant in teaching), but also cultured, intellectually curious individuals who are able to make sound arguments, equipped with critical thinking skills and imagination, and aware of the political and moral stakes of practising law.