The problem of judgment at the intersection of philosophy and law

Level - Target audience

Open to PhD students doing research within the broad field of Law and Humanities 


Prof. Gertrudis Van de Vijver
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy - Department: Philosophy and Moral Sciences of Ghent University.

Organising & scientific committee

Prof. Angela Condello (University of Messina)
Prof. Emiliano Acosta (VUB, University of Gent)
Prof. Georges Martyn (UGent)

Contact person for practical matters:
Jonas Vanbrabant - Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Ghent University


This course explores the concept of judgment from a legal and a philosophical perspective. The concept is part of a rich philosophical history, starting from Aristotle, but having a momentum from very early modernity on. We shall address the history of the concept, investigate its epistemological ramifications, and discuss its potential relevance for different domains, situations and research contexts.


From within the tradition of both philosophy and law, judgment is what bridges two radically different realms. Often, this heterogeneity is phrased in terms of intuition and concept, particularity and universality, contingency and necessity. What will occupy us in this specialist course, are those occasions where the bridging function is problematic or even controversial, where no universal concept (no law) is found under which particularity lets itself be subsumed, where contingency manifests itself as ungraspable in principle, where the intuitive appears radically heterogeneous to conceptuality. In other words, the impossibility of having two heterogeneous terms correspond is what we consider most revealing about what judgment actually is. In the planned specialist course, we organize for PhD-students from within the broad field of Law and Humanities a platform to discuss in an interdisciplinary way about the issue of judgment. The following disciplines are involved: legal theory, intellectual history, philosophy of language and mind, aesthetics, political and social theory, history and theory of law, psychoanalysis.


- The student can distinguish between various forms of judgment and is able to recognize the epistemological and historical problems related to them.
- The student can critically analyse the mentioned forms of judgment.
- The student can work at a multi- and interdisciplinary level and integrate various practices, methods and conceptual apparatus in order to solve problems.
- The student has knowledge about the foundational function of judgment in our current societies.
- The student has knowledge of the conceptual and methodologic diversity of the questions concerning judgment and is aware of the necessity and benefits of a multi- and/or interdisciplinary approach.


1) Name: Bert Van Roermund - Affiliation: University of Tilburg
Contact details:
Bert van Roermund (1947) is Honorary Professor (em.) at Tilburg University (NL), where he was chair of legal philosophy, dean of Philosophy and vice-dean research for the Humanities. His new monograph Law in the First Person Plural will appear in 2020 with Edward Elgar Publishing. A co-edited volume Just Memories. Remembrance and Restoration in the Aftermath of Political Violence is now in print for the Intersentia Series on Transitional Justice.

2) Name: Alberto Andronico - Affiliation: University of Catania
Contact details:
Alberto Andronico is Full Professor of Philosophy of Law at the Law Department of the University of Catania since November 2017. He has been Associate Professor of Philosophy of Law since 2003. In this role, he has taught since 2005 at the Law Department of the University of Catania, where he has been Post-doc Research Fellow. He wrote four books and several studies in collective books and articles published on the most relevant specialized reviews. Mostly, he dealt with postmodern legal conceptions and with the present transformation within the system of law sources, devoting a particular attention to the link between theory of norm and theory of governance.

3) Name: Angela Condello - Affiliation: University of Messina
Contact details:
Angela Condello is Assistant Professor of Legal Philosophy in the Law Department, University of Messina; she is also Adjunct Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Torino, where she holds a Jean Monnet Module on human rights and critical legal thinking within the European legal culture. She has written two monographs and edited journal issues (Law and Literature, Law Text Culture), and various volumes, among which Sensing the Nation's Law: Historical Inquiries into the Aesthetics of Democratic Legitimacy (Springer, 2018), Post-Truth, Philosophy and Law (Routledge, 2019), Law, Labour and the Humanities. Contemporary European Perspectives (Routledge, 2019).

4) Name: Alessio Lo Giudice - Affiliation: University of Messina
Contact details:
Alessio Lo Giudice is Full Professor of Philosophy of Law at the Law Department of the University of Messina, where he teaches Legal Argumentation as well. His postgraduate education includes a PhD in Philosophy of Law conferred by the University of Tilburg and a PhD in Sociology of Law conferred by the University of Milan. His scientific research is mostly devoted to legal-philosophical study on the dynamics of social regulation within the post-national, and above all European, context. The framework of the study is given by modern and contemporary theories of State and democracy. The research is currently directed towards the understanding of conditions for making the legal and political form of democracy possible and effective beyond the State. His scientific achievements are attested by three monographs, two editorships, numerous articles and essays and several presentations given in national and international meetings.

5) Name: Emiliano Acosta - Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit Brussel/UGent
Contact details:
Emiliano Acosta is associate professor at the Vrije Unversiteit Brussel and Visiting Professor (Gastdocent) at the UGent. PhD at the University of Cologne (2008) and FWO-Post-Doc-Researcher (2009-2015) at UGent. Expertise on political philosophy and metaphysics in German Idealism, Plato, Aristotle, Enlightenment and Modern Philosophy. Beside these topics, he also carries research on recognition, the dialectics exclusion-inclusion, populism and democracy and political theory on religion in 18th-century Freemasonry, modern and contemporary philosophy. Last publications related to this proposal: Plato lezen. Liefde, democratie en filosofie in de Apologie van Socrates (2020, monography), “Down by law: On the Structure of Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre 1805” (The Bloomsbury Handbook to Fichte, 2020) and “Migrants, Marx, Descartes, Fichte and Hegel: On Working and Being” (Law, Labour and the Humanities: Contemporary European Perspectives, 2020).

6) Name: Alessandro Bertinetto - Affiliation: University of Turin
Contact details:
Alessandro Bertinetto is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Turin. He has been Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the FU Berlin and member of the Executive Committee of the European Society for Aesthetics. Research interests: philosophy of art, philosophy of music, image theory, contemporary analytic and continental aesthetics, hermeneutics, and German idealism. Recent books: La forza dell’immagine, Udine 2010; Il pensiero dei suoni, Milano, Bruno Mondadori 2012 (French Translation: La pensée des sons, Paris 2017; Eseguire l’inatteso. Ontologia musicale e improvvisazione, Roma 2016. Ongoing Projects: The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Improvisation in the Arts (2021); L’estetica dell’improvvisazione (Napoli 2020).

7) Name: Gertrudis Van De Vijver - Affiliation: UGent
Contact details:
Gertrudis Van de Vijver is Full Professor (Gewoon Hoogleraar) at the department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences of Ghent University. She was awarded her PhD in philosophy from this university in 1988, for her dissertation “Doelgerichtheid in cybernetica, connectionisme en cognitivisme. Tussen twee epistemologische opties: naturalisme en constructivisme”. Since receiving her PhD, she was post-doctoral researcher and research director at Ghent University until she became a professor there in 2000. Currently, she is the director of the Centre for Critical Philosophy. Her research is mainly on the epistemological implications of issues of complexity, self-organization and teleology in the life sciences, in psychology and in the study of cognition. For this, she developed a transcendental approach to the philosophy of biology, centring on the idea of co-constitution. In addition, she does research on other aspects and implications of transcendental philosophy, and on the connections of psychoanalytic theory with epistemology and philosophy of language.

8) Name: Ives Radrizzani - Affiliation: University of Munich
Contact details:
Ives Radrizzani is Professor of Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, associate editor of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences editions of Fichte’s and Schelling’s writings, editor of writings by Maine de Biran, Reinhold, Jacobi and Maimon, and author of many works including monographs and eighty articles related to German idealism.


17 - 18 June, 2021  -  course schedule pdf

Program details

All hours in UCT +2!

  • Thursday, 17 June, 2021

13.00-16.00: Reading group on Lacan's La Lettre volée (coordinated by Gertrudis Van de Vijver, Emiliano Acosta & Angela Condello)

16.00-18.00: Plenary lecture: The artist as a judge - The judge as an Artist (Bert Van Roermund)

  • Friday, 18 June, 2021

1st session: The perspective of the law (coordinated by Gertrudis Van de Vijver & Amiliano Acosta)

09.00-10.00: Judging without criteria: Derrida reader of (Lyotard and) Kafka (Alberto Andronico)

10.00-11.00: Some Remarks on Lyotard's Différend: on legal science as disagreement (Angela Condello)

11.30-12.30: On the crisis of political judgment (Alessio lo Giudice)

12.30-13.30: Lunch break

2nd session: The perspective of philosophy (coordinated by Angela Condello)

13.30-14.30: On imperative judgments from Kant to Schelling (Emiliano Acosta)

14.30-15.30: Broken judgment, reciprocity and the divided subject: bridging kant, Canguilhem, and Lacan (Gertrudis Van de Vijver)

15.30-16.30: Improvisation, aesthetic judgment and normativity (Alessandro Bertinetto)

16.30-17.00: Coffee break

3rd session:

17.00-19.00: Plenary Lecture: Change of paradigm in the philosophy of modernity: from the Cartesion Cogito to the Fichtean Dialog. Identity and otherness by Fichte (Ives Radrizzani)

Registration fee

Free of charge 


Registration required. Provide your

- First name and surname

- Affiliated Institute

- Position (Student, PhD-candidate,...)


Teaching materials

Specific materials (required readings) will be (electronically) provided to the participants prior to the course.

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Full attendance and active participation in the discussion