Experience vs. knowledge in comparative law: critical notes on Pierre Legrand's ‘sensitive epistemology’

Luca Siliquini-Cinelli (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
174 Downloads (Pure)


This paper expounds some critical reflections on Pierre Legrand's recent account of James Gordley's and James Whitman's comparative methodologies. Pushing his unconventional writing style to the limits and labelling Gordley's ‘positivist’ and Whitman's ‘cultural’ comparative law, Legrand's piece appears to be taking the first step towards a new, more sensitive phase for the comparative study of law and legal cultures. The paper argues that, contrary to what might be first thought, Legrand's ‘sensitive epistemology’ cannot act as a gateway to cultural otherness. This is because it is wholly in line with the constructivist objectification of life that characterises the study and practice of law both within and outside the comparative-law dimension.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-458
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Law in Context
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021


  • comparative law
  • experience
  • knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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