Metaphysical factors of legal and political experience: hope


  • Lorenzo Scillitani Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”



Legal formalism, by assimilating law to a legal system, seems to emphasize the link between law and “certitude”, which assumes a purely formal meaning. The fundamental need for justice vivifies the legal experience ethically, by infusing “hope”. Its doing so presupposes, as essential to the law, a metaphysical dimension. With regard to Plato’s thesis about the idea of law as the first educator, the educational value of the law foresees a specific pedagogy of hope. After philosophical and political modernity has celebrated and concluded the age of utopia, the announcement of hope carried by the historical triumph of democracy needs to be discussed in its essential contents. Among them, the first one seems to be the principle of “freedom”, finding its metaphysical and existential nourishment in hope. The political primacy of freedom urges a reflection on the category of desire, which tends to reduce hope — source of authentic decision for “truth” and “good” — to trust. This, if closed to the perspective of hope, is exposed to the power and the violent supremacy of the strongest.



How to Cite

Scillitani, Lorenzo. “Metaphysical Factors of Legal and Political Experience: Hope”. Acta Philosophica 10, no. 1 (March 1, 2001): 45–62. Accessed December 5, 2023.