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Universidade Lusófona do Porto

Philosophy of Law and Judicial Methodology I


The first part stimulates the students with an opportunity to reconstitute the Modernity' s and Enlightenment' s  normativistic paradigm and its trajectory, involving the moments of emergence, development and crisis (this one reconsidered as an ensemble of macroscopic and microscopic signs of overcoming).The second part challenges them to reinterpret the diagnosed signs and their overlapping whilst considering the problem of Law  (its sense and validity).



Level of Qualification|Semesters|ECTS

| Semestral | 5

Year | Type of course unit | Language

4 |Mandatory |Português



Recommended complementary curricular units

Introduction to Law I and II

Professional Internship



Introduction: the meaning of the leading theme, considering a certain Law.  The diagnosis of a  global crisis affecting the sense of Law. The dimension of validity and the methodological dimension.

1.The current crisis affecting Law and legal thinking: the constitution, development and erosion of the normativistic (Modernity¿s and Enlightenment¿s) paradigm; the macroscopically and microscopically relevant critical overcoming.

2. The problem of Law and the plausibility of a reflexive-critical perspective thematizing constitutive historicity: considering a certain response to the problem of common life which, as a specific way of creating communitarian meanings is significantly inscribed in the deployment of what may be called the Idea of Europe (or the possibilities of the Western Text). The reconstitution of the conditions under which law emerges: the worldly-social condition, the anthropological-existential condition and the ethical or ethical-juridical condition.



The aim is to provide the students (in an advanced stage of their academic qualification) with  the adequate conditions to an autonomous reflexive  consideration of the problem of Law and the claims which  in our time its practical-cultural  project demands.

Teaching methodologies and assessment

Systematic exposition of themes, accompanied readings, presentation of exemplar problems,  oriented construction of small papers, opening of dialogue-debates in the manner of a research seminar, an attempt to mobilize the available materials as an incentive to an autonomous reflection (avoiding that they may be used as a resource to uncritical memorization). Beyond the possibility of a final exam (configurated as a resource exam), the evaluation follows a continuous model, involving the condition of 2/3 of class presences, a written test [50%] and an oral collective debate (distributed in small groups and assuring fully identified individual participations)  [50%].


CASTANHEIRA NEVES, António (1991), O problema actual do direito - um curso de filosofia do direito, policopiado, Coimbra-Lisboa 1991;

ID (2009), «Pensar o direito num tempo de perplexidade», in João Lopes Alves et al., Liber Amicorum de José de Sousa e Brito em comemoração do 70º aniversário. Estudos de Direito e Filosofia, Coimbra, Almedina, 2009,

ID (2008), «O direito interrogado pelo tempo presente na perspectiva do futuro», in Avelãs Nunes / Miranda Coutinho (ed.), O direito e o futuro. O futuro do direito, Coimbra, Almedina, 2008

ID (2002)., «Coordenadas de uma reflexão sobre o problema universal do Direito ou as condições da emergência do Direito como Direito», in Estudos em homenagem à Professora Doutora Isabel de Magalhães Colaço, vol. II, Coimbra, 2002, pp. 837-871. Outros textos disponibilizados aos alunos.


Office Hours

Nome do docente  

Horário de atendimento


José Manuel Aroso Linhares

segunda-feira, 9h 30

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