History of Philosophy 2 (2019/2020)

Course code
4S007315
Credits
12
Coordinator
Wanda Tommasi
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
MODULO I 6 M-FIL/06-HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Sem. 1A Laura Anna Macor
MODULO II 6 M-FIL/06-HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Sem. 1B Wanda Tommasi

Learning outcomes

I MODULE
The course aims both to offer a general survey of the major authors and schools of early-modern philosophy, and to instruct students in the use of proper philosophical terminology as well as a critical approach to original texts. The overall goal is to access crucial issues and concepts.

II MODULE
The course aims both to offer a general survey of the major authors and schools of early-contemporary philosophy, and to instruct students in the use of proper philosophical terminology as well as a critical approach to original texts. The overall goal is to access crucial issues and concepts.

Syllabus

------------------------
MM: MODULO I
------------------------
PREREQUISITES: Knowledge of ancient and medieval philosophy. COURSE CONTENT: The Thought of Kant: Ethics and Enlightenment. The course will consist of four parts: 1) Introduction to the history of early-modern philosophy (15th-18th centuries): cross-trajectories (e.g., religious tolerance, the notion of “prejudice”, criticism of the principle of authority); 2) 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); 3) Introduction to the thought of Kant: works, terminology and main theses, with special attention given to ethics and its basic concepts; 4) Reading of and commentary on Kant’s essay An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment? (1784). 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 outcomes 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 published on e-learning; 3) I. Kant, Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi, ed. by F. Gonnelli, Laterza, Bari 1997 (or other reprint/edition; 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 (2000), pp. 16-41. LEARNING MATERIALS: Additional learning materials, which will form part of the mandatory reading, will be published on e-learning.
------------------------
MM: MODULO II
------------------------
Genius and madness The course aims to explore the relationship between reason and madness in some contemporary authors. After presenting Rousseau's confrontation with the delirium of persecution, mention will be made of the madness of Jakob Lenz, the German playwright of the Sturm und Drang, re-read through the literary rewritings of Geog Büchner and Ingeborg Bachmann. Reference will also be made to the relationship between genius and madness in Vincent Van Gogh and in Virgina Woolf. In more detail, we will analyze the relationship between health and disease in the work and life of Nietzsche; we will comment on Nietzsche's Ecce homo. We will consider the text of Helene von Druskowitz, Pessimistic cardinal propositions, which is a violent indictment against male misogyny by a philosopher, a contemporary of Nietzsche, who was locked up for most of her life in a mental hospital on a charge of hate for men. In summary, the program is as follows: 1. Commentary of Nietzsche, Ecce homo . 2. Analysis of the Pessimistic cardinal propositions of Helene von Druskowitz 3. Analysis of Tommasi, Reason to the test of madness General part: Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Husserl, Heidegger, Weil, Lévinas, Freud. Monographic part: Nietzsche, Friedrich, Ecce Homo. Come si diventa ciò che si è, Adelphi, Milano 1969 Von Druskowitz, Helene, Vademecum per gli spiriti più liberi. Proposizioni cardinali pessimistiche, Castelvecchi, Roma 2017 Tommasi Wanda, La ragione alla prova della follia, Liguori, Napoli 2018

Assessment methods and criteria

------------------------
MM: MODULO I
------------------------
Oral exam. The exam aims to assess the attainment of the course’s twofold learning outcomes (knowledge/understanding and skills) with special attention being given to ability to compare the authors studied, and this will be addressed as follows: 1) (autonomously) 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 belonging to Kant’s terminology: students will have to prove ability to formulate precise definitions, and possibly make connections between them; 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., 1/3 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 instructions on how to prepare the cross-trajectory described above (cf. 1).
------------------------
MM: MODULO II
------------------------
Evaluation method: 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. The vote will be expressed in thirtieths. The difference between attending and non-attending students will be taken into account.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Kant Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi Laterza 1997
Kant Immanuel Risposta alla domanda. che cos'è l'illuminismo? Mondadori 2010
Cambiano, Mori Tempi del pensiero. Storia e antologia della filosofia, vol. 2 Le Monnier, Mondadori 2018
A. Tagliapietra (a cura di) Che cos'è l'illuminismo? I testi e la genealogia del concetto Bruno Mondadori 2010
I. Kant Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi Laterza 1997
G. Belgioioso Storia della filosofia moderna Le Monnier-Mondadori 2018 capp. 1-22
G. Cambiano e M. Mori Tempi del pensiero. Storia e antologia della filosofia, 2. Età moderna Laterza 2012 capp. 1-15
Nietzsche Friedrich Ecce homo Adelphi 1969
Tommasi Wanda La ragione alla prova della follia Liguori 2018
Von Druskowitz Helene Vademecum per gli spiriti più liberi. Proposizioni cardinali pessimistiche Castelvecchi 2017