Philosophical Hermeneutics (i) (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Tommaso Tuppini
Tommaso Tuppini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A dal Sep 23, 2019 al Oct 31, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The principal aim of the course is to give an adequate understanding of what properly philosophical hermeneutics is. Hermeneutics is usually understood as the discipline and art of interpretation. This type of hermeneutics arises from the exegesis of sacred and humanistic texts, which follows the rediscovery of Greek civilization with the Italian Renaissance and the free reading of the Bible with the German Reformation. The theory of interpretation is a philological and religious hermeneutics, it is a tool for understanding the written text and the fideistic subjectivity. Instead, properly philosophical hermeneutics is not a theory of interpretation and has nothing to do with text and language. Philosophical hermeneutics was born in the twentieth century with Husserl - which defines phenomenology as a "hermeneutics of conscious life" - and with Heidegger, for whom the exercise of philosophy is a "hermeneutics of facticity", ie the understanding that existence has of itself. This hermeneutics is not "interpretation" but "explication" and "unfolding" (Auslegung), ie spontaneous articulation of being, an event that precedes language and in which Being unfolds and participates in all possible ways of being.
At the end of the course the students will be able to follow the twisting paths of 20th century hermeneutics with greater awareness and agility and will have a genealogical knowledge of certain discursive and social practices of which their daily existence is made.



If I put a crystalline germ in a supersaturated solution, the liquid gradually crystallizes. The vampire turns his victims into vampires. The Starman wants to know the earthlings, but he is afraid to meet them because "he thinks he'd blow our minds". The Elf-king abducts a child in his realm. Two ghosts want to play with the little siblings of an Essex house. The inhabitants of Numanzia, besieged by the Romans, prefer to die all suicides rather than surrender. What do crystal physics, Dracula, David Bowie's Starman, Goethe's elf, Henry James's ghosts, Bataille's warriors have in common? However heterogeneous these situations are, they are all forms of contagion. What is the structure and the way of functioning of a contagious communication?

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Johann W. Goethe Ballate edizione a scelta 1815 "Il re degli elfi", "La fidanzata di Corinto"
Maurice Merleau-Ponty Fenomenologia della percezione Bompiani 2005 pp. 35-44, 283-322
Roger Caillois Il mito e l'uomo Bollati-Boringhieri 1998 pp. 23-67
Jean-Luc Nancy La comunità inoperosa Cronopio 1992 Prima parte: "La comunità inoperosa"
Georges Bataille La congiura sacra Bollati-Boringhieri 2008 pp. 117-19
Georges Bataille L'esperienza interiore Dedalo 2002 pp. 144-50
Gilbert Simondon L'individuazione alla luce delle nozioni di forma e di informazione Mimesis 2011 pp. 93-134
Abel Ferrara The Addiction film 1994

Assessment methods and criteria

Exam is oral and evaluates the mastery of the topics and concepts contained in the books indicated in the bibliography. The questions evaluate the vocabulary, the critical-argumentative capacity, the ability to autonomously rework what has been learned.

Teaching aids