Theoretical Philosophy (2007/2008)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Paolo Giuspoli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. I B dal Nov 12, 2007 al Dec 20, 2007.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

This course aims at providing the students with competences in order to elaborate the reasons of philosophical research through the critical comparison with other cultural and search perspectives, in relation with one’s own tradition and with the different special philosophical themes. The main aim is to favour critical reasoning and the interpretation of the different types of knowledge beyond the limits of disciplinary specialization.
In particular the focus will be on the comprehension and discussion of the theoretical orientations that have founded a new way of viewing the principal processes of the development of knowledge.
The course gives for granted the basic notions provided within the course of “History of philosophy”, and intends to analyse fundamental questions and texts of the modern and contemporary thought.


Consciousness and world. Theoretical investigations and interdisciplinary researches
A. Introduction. Consciousness and world at the beginning of modern thought.
B. Schopenhauer’s conception of the "world". Knowledge as a “product of the brain”. Selfconsciousness as 'cosmic bond'. Biological and emotional constitution of the knowledge of the world. Communicability of experience.
C. The Hegelian theory of the formation of human consciousness: environmental conditionings; first forms of symbolic activity; the ability of idealization; psychic passivity; habit; the body as "work of art" of intelligence; the development of conscience; conscience and self-consciousness; relationship among self-consciousnesses; the rational awareness of one’s own cognitive actions; psychological-personal dimension and community dimension of knowledge.
D. Problems and perspectives of the contemporary, interdisciplinary debate on consciousness and the biological bases of human intelligence.

A. R. Descartes, Meditationes de prima philosophia, ed. by S. Landucci, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2005.
B. A. Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, volume II, trans. T. Bailey, Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, U.S.A., 1966, chapters I, XIX, XXII, L.
C. G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy Of Mind, in Encyclopaedia Of The Philosophical Sciences (1830). : Part Three. Together With The 'Zusatze' In Boumann's Text (1845), Foreword By J. N. Findlay, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1971, selected paragraphs.
D. Materials on the contemporary debate in research fields of Philosophy and Neurosciences will be available during the lessons.

Assessment methods and criteria

Seminar activities and final oral examination. The optional reading of text samples in original language will be valued positively. The texts are available at the Library of the Department of Philosophy, in via S. Francesco 22.