European Journal of Law Reform


Giambattista Vico

Critical Legal Studies in Contextual Historical Mode?

Keywords international law, history, Critical Legal Studies, Giambattista Vico
Authors Guillermo Coronado Aguilar
Author's information

Guillermo Coronado Aguilar
Guillermo Coronado Aguilar, Presidential PhD scholar at The University of Hong Kong. The author wishes to thank the support provided by the University of Hong Kong through the Presidential PhD Scholar Programme and the continous encouragement by Prof. James D. Fry. This work was presented at the TMC Asser workshop “Method, methodology and critique in international law” organized by Dimitri van den Meerssche, special thanks to the conveners and to Prof. Ben Golder who took the time to review and made comments to this work.
  • Abstract

      The original thought of Giambattista Vico can provide a different avenue of understanding international law departing from Critical Legal Studies (CLS) by way of making contextual history. According to Vico, history was a human creation upon which history moved in an orbit rather than a straight line to progress, as the Enlightenment proposes. Under such a Vichian perspective, the understanding of ideas, institutions, and civilizations should be judged as elements of their own time; with their own goals, symbols, rituals, art, languages, gestures, myths, social customs, and law. Thus, avoiding presentism and anachronism. Vico provides an alternative method to the understanding of international law through history.

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