Phenomenology and ontology of care (2018/2019)

Course code
Guido Cusinato
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff

Learning outcomes

Theory of affective experience (Module I)
The course aims to provide the conceptual, methodological and cultural foundations for a phenomenological research focusing on the emotional experience, more precisely [RS1] on the importance of emotional sharing for the care relationships, the individual formation process and the development of social ontology. The careful reading of the reference texts and the class discussions will be preliminary to the elaboration and exposure of a short written text. At the end of the course the students should demonstrate an adequate knowledge of the texts, autonomy of judgment and a good ability to master the philosophical terminology encountered.

Ontology of Relation (Module II)
The main objective of teaching is to illustrate and explain the structures which are necessary for there to be something like a "relationship". The "relationship" is not an experience which is in first place "human", but it is the condition of every continuity and discontinuity in the world. "Relationship" is what holds together and separates two or more elements, it is the condition of every identity and difference. Such ontology focuses on the structure which gives shape to the elements and to the whole of relationship, in spatio-temporal experiences, in concrete processes and in those of ideation.


------------------------ MM: TEORIE DELL'ESPERIENZA AFFETTIVA ------------------------ Inter-affectivity and inter-corporeality Between 1909 and 1916 Max Scheler rewrote Kant’s transcendental aesthetics by means of Jakob von Uexküll’s biosemiotics and founded a new phenomenology of corporeity. In this course we will deal with the foundations of the phenomenology of corporeity starting from Jacob von Uexküll’s thesis on the relationship between organism and environment and from Max Scheler’s theory of direct perception of expressiveness (Ausdruck). Both issues are at the center of today’s phenomenological debate on the theory of primary intersubjectivity of Trevarthen and of the inter-corporeality of Merleau-Ponty (Gallagher, Zahavi, Fuchs, Stanghellini). In particular, we will try to reconstruct the origin of the phenomenological distinction between a lived body (Leib) and an object body (Körper) starting from the writings of Scheler published between 1912 and 1913 (with advance therefore on Husserl, who will publish Ideas II only later). A special attention will be paid to the second part of Formalismus (1916), which has been increasingly recognized as one of the major philosophical works of the twentieth century. This allows us to overcome the predominant understanding of the phenomenology of corporeity, focusing on the problem of expressive unity and emotional sharing. For attending students there will be an individualized approach. Exam texts for students who will not attend the course are as follows: M. Scheler, Scritti fenomenologici, FrancoAngeli M. Scheler, Il valore della vita emotiva, Guerini e Associati J. von Uexküll, A Foray Into the Worlds of Animals and Humans S. Gallagher & D. Zahavi, The Phenomenological Mind ------------------------ MM: ONTOLOGIA DEL RAPPORTO ------------------------ WHAT IS A WAR MACHINE? A war machine is so many things together: an invention, a novelty, a means to solve problems, a means to move, a way to occupy a space, a tactic of battle, a weapon. How and when do we deal with a war machine? How to recognize it? And, above all, how and when the slow-motion bomb of the war machine explodes and becomes a fascist conflagration?

Assessment methods and criteria

For attending students: A personalized program will be set together at the beginning of the course. For non-attending students: The exam is in oral form and aims at verifying the adequate knowledge of the scheduled texts. In order to access the oral examination, students must submit a paper of 20000 characters. The paper must be previously agreed on with the professor during his office hours – after students have read the texts – and is to be submitted at least 7 days before the exam. The paper must be submitted via email, with a .doc document containing the student’s name, surname and identification number.
Written report of at least 10 pages whose subject must be previously agreed and which will be discussed orally. The report will serve to evaluate the vocabulary, the critical-argumentative capacity, the ability to autonomously rework what has been learned.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Jacob von Uexküll Ambienti animali e ambienti umani Quodlibet 2010
Max Scheler Il Formalismo (Introduzione e II parte) Bompiani 2013
G. Cusinato Biosemiotica e psicopatologia dell'ordo amoris. In dialogo con Max Scheler FrancoAngeli 2018
M. Scheler Il valore della vita emotiva Guerini 1999
Gallagher, Zahavi La mente fenomenologica Cortina 2009
M. Scheler Scritti fenomenologici  
J. Littell Il secco e l'umido. Una breve incursione in territorio fascista Einaudi 2009
P. Virilio L'orizzonte negativo. Saggio di dromoscopia Costa&Nolan 2005
G. Deleuze Millepiani Orthotes 2017 Capitoli 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14