Political philosophy (p) (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Ilaria Possenti
Ilaria Possenti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 19, 2018 al Jan 12, 2019.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide examples of the contribution that philosophy can bring to the understanding of political problems, as an exercise in critical thinking, and to public communication.
At the end of the course the student should demonstrate:
- to have acquired a precise knowledge of the topics addressed in the course;
- to be able to expose them in an orderly and synthetic way;
- to have developed the ability to formulate its/her own judgment.



Starting from an overview of the history of ancient and modern political philosophy, the course provides a re-reading of Hannah Arendt's "Vita Activa [The Human Condition]" (1958), where the author criticizes the traditional conception of politics (the sphere of "government ") for the sake of a "political realm" conceived as a space of" isonomy " (i.e. political equality or equal freedom, equal participation in the life of the polis).
The introductory study of the "models of political philosophy" (Petrucciani) will be aimed at the triple objective of (1) reading Hannah Arendt taking into account the context in which her reflection takes shape (polemical objectives, main philosophical questions, sources); (2) understanding the Arendtian anthropological-philosophical categories (plurality, natality, common world) and politics concepts (power, freedom, acting in common), as well as her reflections on the "vita activa" (labor, work, action) and on modern society; (3) questioning "Vita activa" from a situated perspective - starting from present political and social experiences or concerns.

1) S. Petrucciani, “Modelli di filosofia politica”, Einaudi 2003, pp. 5-203.
2) H. Arendt, “Vita activa. La condizione umana”, Bompiani 2008.

The didactic methods consist of frontal lessons (presentation, reading and interpretation of the texts) and discussions. Optional seminars: free access to the Hannah Arendt Center's Seminars (see www.arendtcenter.it).
During the first lesson, attending students will receive the full lesson schedule.
Throughout the academic year, the teacher also holds a regular individual Reception at the times indicated on her page (it is recommended that you consult the page to be informed of any changes).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
S. Petrucciani Modelli di filosofia politica Einaudi 2003 pp. 5-203.
Hannah Arendt Vita activa Bompiani 2017 9788845295461

Assessment methods and criteria

For both attending and non-attending students: oral exam (from January to September 2020).
The students are required to bring the readings at the exam.

Final evaluation will consider:
- philosophical-political knowledge
- consequentiality of the arguments
- ability to think in a personal and independent way