25-26-27 October 2016: Paolo Napoli on “Law and Social Sciences”

napoli_small480Dear all,
this week Prof. Paolo Napoli (EHESS, CENJ Paris) will give three lectures on the relationship between law and social sciences at hand of the works of some of the most important philosophers and legal theorists of the 20th century. There is no compulsory reading but you are invited to read at least some parts of the famous works listed below.


For a long period of time, law has been kind of a “problem” for social sciences. For reasons that would deserve to be further explored, things have changed and it is now clear that the expression “law and social sciences” refers to an increasingly popular and accepted interlock rather than to a discrepancy. However, we must not imagine that we entered the era of methodological syncretism as law’s demand for autonomy remains an essential condition for a transdisciplinary (and, above all, not interdisciplinary) encounter. Using the works of authors such as M. Foucault, E. Durkheim and H. Kelsen, we will try to identify the historical emergence of the social sciences and the tendency of the law to distinguish itself  from sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc. Finally, analyzing the concept of “institution”, we will have the opportunity to test how law and social sciences differently problematize this topic, which can be considered pivotal in the history of Western societies

Suggested readings:

– M. Foucault, Les mots et les choses (1966), chapitre X : « Les sciences humaines »

– E. Durkheim, Les règles de la méthode sociologique, 1895

– H. Kelsen, Der Begriff des Staates und die Sozialpsychologie mit Mit besonderer  Berücksichtigung von Freuds Theorie der Masse, 1921

Click HERE to read Paolo Napoli’s CV


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