This essay analyzes the genetic paths of Western legal subjectivity within the semantic spectrum of legal capacity. In turn, the historical transfigurations of legal capacity are traced by probing their phylogenetic connections—as it were—with the phenomenology of the sacred. To this end, the investigation unfolds through three basic articulations: a) legal capacity and nature; b) legal capacity and subjectivity; and c) legal capacity and cognition. The methodological approach adopted is interdisciplinary and combines hermeneutical tools drawn from areas of anthropological, semiotic, historical and, of course, legal research. The overall argumentative path is oriented towards using the category ‘legal capacity’ and the unwinding of its processes of formation as an optical vertex from which to cast an interpretive gaze on the problems of contemporary legal subjectivity. In sequence, anthropological and political turmoil triggered by both technological innovation and the transfiguration in a multicultural and multireligious direction of the social landscapes underlying the democratic societies’ dynamics, the unfading processes of postcolonial rearrangement and the increasingly incisive changes in the international order, all these factors are hermeneutically unified in a comprehensive attempt aimed at grasping what the implications of a rearticulation on a global scale of the modern secularization mythology might be for the future of legal subjectivity.
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