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Full Professor
Department of Law

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Courses previous a.y.

Biographical note

Born March 6th, 1968. MSc in Political Sciences and PhD in Legal Philosophy from the University of Padova.

Academic CV

Damiano Canale is full professor of Philosophy of Law and Critical Thinking at Bocconi University since 2009. Before taking up the position of associate professor at Bocconi in 2004, he was a researcher with tenure at the University of Padua. At Bocconi University, he was Director of the Master of Science in Law from 2005 to 2009, and the Head of the Department of Legal Studies from 2010 to 2016.

Prof. Canale was visiting scholar at the Max-Plank-Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte, the Yale Law School, the University of Oxford, and visiting professor at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) from 2018 to 2020. His research interests cover the theory of legal reasoning, the philosophy of language, and the history of modern political concepts. He is a member of the editorial board of “Law and Philosophy”, “Argumentation in Context”, “Analisi e diritto”, “Ars Interpretandi”, “Discusiones”. He is also a member of the Adisory Board for the series Palgrave Handbooks in the Philosophy of Law. His papers on legal theory and legal argumentation have been published in “Law and Philosophy”, “The American Journal of Jurisprudence”, “Ratio Juris”, “The Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence”, “Informal Logic”, “Rechtstheorie”, “Argumentation”, “Argumentation in Context”.

Research areas

Legal Interpretation and Argumentation. Philosophy of Action. History of modern political concepts. BioLaw.



He is the author of five books: La giustificazione della decisione giudiziale (with G. Tuzet; Torino: Giappichelli, 2018); Conflitti pratici. Quando il diritto diventa immorale (Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2017); Forme del limite nell'interpretazione giudiziale (Padova: CEDAM, 2003); La costituzione delle differenze. Giusnaturalismo e codificazione del diritto civile nella Prussia del '700 (Torino: Giappichelli, 2000); En busca de lo implícito. Ensayos sobre razonamiento e interpretación en el derecho (Bogotá: Universidad Externado de Colombia, 2019).

He is co-editor of the books Critical Thinking. An Introduction (Milan: EGEA, 2021), The Planning Theory of Law. A Critical Reading ( Berlin-New York: Springer, 2013), A History of the Philosophy of Law in the Civil Law World, 1600-1900 (Berlin-New York: Springer, 2009).

Journal articles written by him include: “The Opacity of Law: On the Hidden Impact of Experts’ Opinion on Legal Decision-making”, Law and Philosophy (online first, June 2021); “Norme espresse e norme inespresse. Un’analisi concettuale”, Analisi e diritto, 2, 2020, 13-42; “Pragmatic Aspects of Legislative Intent”, American Journal of Jurisprudence 64 (1), 2019, 125-138; "Analogical Reasoning and Extensive Interpretation", Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 103(1), 2017, 117-135; "What the Legislature Did not Say. Legislative Intentions and Counterfactuals in Legal Argumentation", Journal of Argumentation in Context 5(3), 2016, 249-270; "Comparative Reasoning in Legal Adjudication", Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 28(1), 2015, 1-23;  "Is Law Grounded in Joint Action?", Rechtstheorie 45(3), 2014, 289-312; "Looking for the Nature of Law: On Shapiro's Challenge", Law and Philosophy 31(4), 2012, 409-441; "Teorie dell'interpretazione giuridica e teorie del significato", Materiali per una storia della cultura giuridica 42(1), 2012, 155-178; "La qualificazione giuridica della vita prenatale." In S. Rodotà-P. Zatti (eds.), Trattato di Biodiritto, vol. I, Milano: Giuffrè, 2011, 1-26; "What Is the Reason for This Rule? An Inferential Account of the Ratio Legis", Argumentation 24(2), 2010, 197-210; "Consequences of Pragmatic Conceptualism. On the Methodology Problem in Jurisprudence", Ratio Juris 22(2), 2009, 171-186.

(The list of prof. Canale's publications is available in his personal homepage).