History of Philosophy B (p) (2018/2019)



Course code
4S02139
Credits
12
Coordinator
Wanda Tommasi
Academic sector
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
Language of instruction
Italian
Teaching is organised as follows:
Activity Credits Period Academic staff Timetable
Modulo 1 6 Sem. 1A Laura Anna Macor

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Modulo 2 6 Sem. 1B Wanda Tommasi

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the students with an overview of the main authors and major schools of modern and contemporary philosophy. It also aims to teach the correct use of philosophical terminology and the critical use of the original texts, with the final purpose of understanding key philosophical concepts and problems.
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MM: Modulo 1
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The course aims to provide an introduction to the history of early-modern philosophy and its terminology. Special attention will be given to developing a critical approach to the most important texts as well as their central issues and concepts. The anticipated learning objectives are as follows: Knowledge: 1) Knowledge and understanding of early-modern philosophical contexts (historical-cultural contexts, philosophical traditions); 2) Knowledge and understanding of the theories developed by the major early-modern philosophers; 3) Knowledge and understanding of the lexicon of early-modern philosophy. -Skills: 1) Applying knowledge and understanding to the reading of and commentary on philosophical texts, possibly in the original or at least with some reference to it; this should be demonstrated by the mastery of an appropriate vocabulary and the ability to identify interpretative problems and suggest possible solutions; 2) Making autonomous judgments and engaging in independent reasoning; 3) Developing communication skills in the following areas: participating in guided discussions, generating and explaining ideas and defending these through arguments, and possibly delivering short presentations; 4) Enacting autonomous learning skills through the development of an appropriate study and interpretation methodology in relation to both texts and contexts.
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MM: Modulo 2
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The course aims to introduce the students to the history of the nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy. At the end of the course, students will be requested to show knowledge and understanding of the presented authors and texts. The course aims to provide the students with an overview of the main authors and major schools of contemporary philosophy. It also aims to teach the correct use of philosophical terminology and the critical use of the original texts, with the final purpose of understanding key philosophical concepts and problems.

Syllabus

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MM: Modulo 1
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- Prerequisites: Knowledge of ancient and medieval philosophy. -Course Content: Immanuel Kant: Ideas in Context. The course will consist of four parts: 1) Introduction to the history of early-modern philosophy (15th-18th centuries): cross-trajectories (e.g., criticism of the principle of authority, religious tolerance, basic concepts); 2) Introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant: works, terminology and main theses, with special attention given to ethics; 3) Introduction to the German Enlightenment (Aufklärung): historical and cultural features, periodization, major authors (e.g., Chr. Wolff, G. F. Meier, G. E. Lessing, M. Mendelssohn) and basic concepts (enlightenment: Aufklärung; autonomous thought: Selbstdenken; maturity: Mündigkeit; prejudice: Vorurteil; vocation of man: Bestimmung des Menschen; universal human reason: allgemeine Menschenvernunft; perfectibility: Perfektibilität/Vervollkommnung); 4) Late-Enlightenment debate about the notion of Aufklärung itself and its definition (1784): Mendelssohn, Kant, J. G. Hamann. - Teaching Methods: The course will consist of both lectures and discussions guided by the professor with a view to enabling students to attain both the knowledge- and the skills-related learning objectives outlined above. Furthermore, there is the opportunity to prepare short papers on topics previously agreed on and to present them in class. The plurality of teaching methods is conceived of as a way of helping students, who will be offered as wide a range of learning paths as possible. -Mandatory Reading: 1) G. Cambiano e M. Mori, Tempi del pensiero. Storia e antologia della filosofia, 2. Età moderna, Laterza, Roma – Bari 2012 (or other edition), chapters 1-15 or G. Belgioioso, Storia della filosofia moderna, Le Monnier-Mondadori, Firenze – Milano 2018, chapters 1-22 (or an alternative handbook to be discussed with the professor); 2) Learning materials distributed in class and/or published on e-learning; 3) I. Kant, Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi, ed. by F. Gonnelli, Laterza, Bari 1997 (or other edition), selected passages, read and commented on in class; 4) I. Kant, Risposta alla domanda: che cos’è l’illuminismo?, ed. by M. Bensi, Postfazione by A. M. Iacono, ETS, Pisa 2013, or in I. Kant, Scritti sul criticismo, ed. by G. De Flaviis, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1991, pp. 5-12, or in Che cos’è l’illuminismo? I testi e la genealogia del concetto, ed. by A. Tagliapietra, transl. by S. Manzoni and E. Tetamo, Mondadori, Milano 2010 (20001), pp. 16-41; 5) M. Mendelssohn, Sulla domanda: che cosa significa rischiarare?, in Che cos’è l’illuminismo? I testi e la genealogia del concetto, ed. by A. Tagliapietra, transl. by S. Manzoni and E. Tetamo, Mondadori, Milano 2010 (20001), pp. 3-15; 6) J. G. Hamann, Lettera sulle contraddizioni dell’illuminismo, in Che cos’è l’illuminismo? I testi e la genealogia del concetto, ed. by A. Tagliapietra, transl. by S. Manzoni and E. Tetamo, Mondadori, Milano 2010 (20001), pp. 42-57. - Learning Materials: Additional learning materials, which will form part of the mandatory reading, will be distributed during the class and/or published on e-learning.
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MM: Modulo 2
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Imagination and criticism of the imagination in the twentieth century philosophy The course will deal with some contemporary conceptions of the imagination and some criticism moved to it by twentieth century thinkers, as well as a general picture of the history of nineteenth and twentieth century’s philosophy. In the first place, Emmanuel Levinas’ the criticism moved to the imaginative ability and art will be analysed. Secondly, we will examine the idea of imagination by Simone Weil and Iris Murdoch, in particular their distinction between a bad imagination – egocentric and de-realizing – and a good imagination, attentive to the real. Finally, the Lacan’s distinction between imaginary, symbolic and real will be discussed. In summary, the course will deal with: 1. Lévinas’ criticism to artistic imagination; 2. Weil’s criticism to imagination, in the name of attention to the real; 3. The double face of imagination according to Iris Murdoch; 4. Lacan’s distinction between the imaginary, the symbolic and the real.

Assessment methods and criteria

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MM: Modulo 1
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Oral exam. The exam aims to assess the attainment of the course’s twofold learning objectives (knowledge/understanding and skills) with special attention being given to ability to compare the authors studied, and this will be addressed as follows: 1) outlining a cross-trajectory in early-modern thought: students will have to demonstrate possession of basic facts and notions, showing ability to explain them in a systematic manner and follow their diachronic development; 2) defining one or more philosophical concepts: students will have to prove ability to formulate precise definitions, and make connections between different authors; 3) reading of and commenting on a philosophical text from among those discussed in class: students will have to demonstrate acquisition of a robust methodology for analysing texts and reflecting on their theoretical implications. Each part of the exam has equal weighting, i.e., a third of the final mark. Students who will have presented an optional short paper will be exempt from the part of the exam corresponding to the nature of the work already done. The paper’s assessment will contribute a third of the final total. No distinction will be made between attending and non-attending students. Non-attending students are however requested to contact the professor in order to receive the additional learning materials distributed in class.
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MM: Modulo 2
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oral exam. The exam’s purpose is to assess students’ knowledge and understanding of the covered topics and to evaluate the ability to compare the authors acquired by the students. There are no differences in the exam between attending and non-attending students.

Reference books
Activity Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Modulo 1 A. Tagliapietra (a cura di) Che cos'è l'illuminismo? I testi e la genealogia del concetto Bruno Mondadori 2010 pp. 3-57.
Modulo 1 I. Kant Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi Laterza 1997
Modulo 2 Lacan Dei nomi del Padre Einaudi 2006
Modulo 2 Murdoch Esistenzialisti e mistici Il Saggiatore 2006
Modulo 2 Lévinas Nomi propri Marietti 1984
Modulo 2 Weil Venezia salva Adelphi 1987

STUDENT MODULE EVALUATION - 2017/2018