Zoon logon èchon. The Anthropological Dimension of Legal Argumentation
According to the well-known Aristotelian definition of man as zoòn politikòn, the former has to be intended as an animal living together with others in community (the pòlis). Also other animals live of course “in community” – and Aristotle recalls this in the same context of his Politics – but the way of living “in community” of these animals is a gregarious one – says Aristotle – while man does not live passively in community. On the contrary, men build their community, characterized by a system of relationships which implies some methods for addressing others and for organizing social ties: vertically, or horizontally in conditions of equality and trust.
However, it should be noted that Aristotle, when defining man as a political animal, also defines him as zoòn lògon èchon, that is, “animal with words”, or rather “animal with logos”.
It is crucial to observe that both Aristotelian definitions of man – as political animal and as animal with logos – are strictly connected: the construction of social bonds in the city and the possession of the logos mutually require each other. There would have been neither politics nor a civil community if men would not have spoken or, rather, would not have communicated with each other.
It must also be stressed that, according to the very Aristotelian anthropological paradigm, to speak meaningfully one another means to speak rationally but also persuasively, since the logos is either thought or word and speaking is naturally addressed to the others, in order “to do things with words”.
Starting from Aristotelian thought as a basis for further reflections, this panel assumes as objectives:
- to address the issue of the relationship between law & the anthropological dimension, especially through the “faces of trial”;
- to stress the specificity and relevance of “rhetoric as philosophy” and an anthropological assumption;
- to link the anthropological dimension to legal argumentation;
- to show the value of the argument, and in particular of the legal argument, for the education of the citizens in a democracy.
- to enhance the ethical demands of the cooperative argument, as opposed to a competitive dialectic, for managing conflicts and for the establishment of social ties;
- to show how rhetoric is a profitable way of arguing in legal decisions (from the viewpoint of anthropological dimension);
- to reflect on the use of signs and on the mutual modality in law;
- to reflect on the status of dialogue from a rhetorical perspective;
- to reflect on AI starting from the anthropological dimension of law.

The list of topics draws the headlines for a possible discussion and suggests the relevant research areas.