CfP: Epistemologies in Law: An Interdisciplinary Handbook

by | 5 Sep 2023

Recent developments in legal education and practice, including the increasing reliance on technological means to teach law and perform legal tasks, call for a new appraisal of what it means to attain, have, and use legal knowledge. The uncertain future which awaits law schools and the legal profession urgently calls for a thorough re-consideration of the nature, operational dynamics, and remit of the type of knowledge that law students are required to attain, law teachers to pass on, and legal professionals to employ.

The complexity of this theme demands that it be approached in an open, inter-disciplinary, contextual, and reflexive manner. For if there is one thing that the history of and current events in legal education and practice prove is that the attainment and employment of legal knowledge is not just a jurisprudential matter; rather, it also involves and is shaped by various sociological, political, historical, and psychological factors.

Embracing this pluralistic ethos, the proposed volume departs from monistic conceptualisations of legal knowledge and speaks, instead, of the epistemologies in law. It aims to shed new and much-needed light on the nature, working logic(s), and objectives of legal knowledge by discussing both interdisciplinary and contextually core and new themes in the field. The analysis is both theoretical and practical, drawing on novel and impactful case- studies.

Contributions are sought from legal scholars as well as philosophers, cognitive scientists, computer scientists, psychologists, political theorists, anthropologists, and sociologists interested in legal epistemology from any geographical area, cultural background, and at any stage of their career.

Dr Joshua Neoh, Associate Professor, ANU Law School, The Australian National University

Dr Luca Siliquini-Cinelli, Reader in Law, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University

Possible themes include, i.e. are not limited to:

  • What is legal knowledge?
  • Is legal knowledge ordinary knowledge, or a special type of knowledge?
  • What institutional (i.e. social, political, economic, historical, etc.) assumptions,narratives, and practices inform the production, sharing, protection, alteration,removal, and re-creation of legal knowledge?
  • Do different branches of law (i.e. private law, criminal law, constitutional law, etc.)operate through different epistemologies?
  • What is the relationship between legal knowledge and experience?
  • Is legal knowledge dependent on epistemic normative notions, i.e. reasons?
  • Are there any passions at play in the attainment and use of legal knowledge, or is it a‘detached’ endeavour?
  • What is the relationship between legal knowledge and legal language?
  • What is the relationship between legal knowledge and truth?
  • Can there be an ontology of the legal without an epistemology of law, i.e. can wedetermine what a legal norm is, prescribes, etc. without asking how we know it?
  • How can legal knowledge be best attained and safeguarded?
  • What sociological, political, historical, and psychological dynamics are at play in theformation and employment of legal knowledge?
  • How is legal knowledge lived communally by those who produce it and are affected byit?
  • What forms is legal knowledge best expressed in and conveyed by?
  • Are reading and interpreting legal texts the same activities epistemologically, or shouldone rather speak of an epistemology of reading and of an epistemology ofinterpretation?
  • What is the future of legal knowledge? Will legal knowledge be the exclusive remit oflawyers, or will it be open to other figures as well, such as computer scientists,software engineers, and so forth?
  • What is the relationship between legal knowledge and the human being, i.e. can therebe legal knowledge in a purely technological/artificial environment?
  • Is legal knowledge computable?
  • Is legal knowledge a matter of semantics, syntax, or both?
  • Can there be legal knowledge without socio-political involvement?

Further information:This is a call for abstracts for a volume to be co-edited by Dr Neoh and Dr Siliquini-Cinelli and submitted to a leading publisher.Abstracts of up to 250 words have to be submitted to and Siliquini- by Monday January 15th, 2024.The indicative final length of chapters, inclusive of footnotes/references, is 7,000 words. Other important dates:

  • 15 February 2024: Deadline for editorial feedback to authors on abstract
  • 28 February 2024: Submission of book proposal to leading publisher
  • 31 October 2024: Submission of chapters to editors
  • 30 November 2024: Editorial feedback to authors
  • 15 December 2024: New submission of chapters after editorial review (if required)
  • 28 February 2025: Deadline for return of chapters by external reviewer(s)
  • 30 March 2025: Deadline for authors’ comments on reviewers’/submission of revised chapters
  • 31 May 2025: Submission to publisher


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