Political philosophy (p) (2009/2010)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Lorenzo Bernini
Lorenzo Bernini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Sep 28, 2009 al Jan 16, 2010.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing examples of the contribution that political philosophy may give to a critical comprehension of political problems of actuality, challenging usual ways of thinking politics.


Prerequisites: nessuno

Course content: The Leviathan and the good shepherd: Constucting and de-costucting State sovereignty (Thomas Hobbes and Michel Foucault)
Firstly the course will discuss the status of Political Philosophy as an academic discipline as well as its relationship with “reality”. Secondly, by focusing on Hobbes’s thought, we will investigate the origin of some key-concepts (individual, individual rights, representation, State sovereignty) used by modern political thinkers – as well as some contemporary ones - when thinking about political phaenomena. In the end, we will analyse Foucault’s critique to these concepts as well as the new cathegories he coined (disciplinary power, biopolitics, pastoral power) in order to point out how, during the Twentieth Century, philosophy has looked at politics in a different way and has thus given way to a new era of thought.

1. Thomas Hobbes, Leviatano: Lettera dedicatoria; Introduzione; Parte prima capp. 10-16; Parte seconda; Parte terza cap. 43.
Edizioni consigliate:
- A cura di Raffaella Santi, con testo inglese e latino, Milano, Bompiani, 2004;
- A cura di Arrigo Pacchi e Agostino Lupoli, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2008.
2. Michel Foucault, Sorvegliare e punire. Nascita della prigione, Torino, Einaudi, 2008.
Oppure, in alternativa:
Michel Foucault, La volontà di sapere. Storia della sessualità 1, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2008.
3. Norberto Bobbio, I. Il modello giusnaturalistico, II. La teoria politica di Hobbes, in Thomas Hobbes, Torino, Einaudi, 2004.
4. Lorenzo Bernini, Le pecore e il pastore: Critica, politica, etica nel pensiero di Michel Foucault, Liguori, Napoli, 2008.

Teaching methods: Lectures based on reading and interpretation of the texts

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examination