Theoretical Philosophy (2007/2008)

Course not running

Course code
Name of lecturer
Antonino La Russa
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. II A dal Feb 18, 2008 al Apr 12, 2008.

Lesson timetable

Sem. II A
Day Time Type Place Note
Monday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Tuesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Wednesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  

Learning outcomes

Theoretical philosophy is typified by the radical way of facing the study of the value and meaning of reality in the human and natural dimension. At the same time, human sensitivity needs to be faced, as it is embodied in the ways and shapes of the historical living.
Bearing this in mind, today, due to genetic manipulation and to the expansion of the artificial world, the philosophical search on man and nature seems to demand a new theoretical framework, both in the moral attitudes that in the metaphysical presuppositions.
Therefore, following the pattern of a new kind of ethics for technological civilization, as it transpires from Hans Jonas’ thought, the present course intends to lead the students to understand the changed nature of human acting in our time and the necessity of a reflection of the subject in the totality of his/her ontological constitution.


The course is structured as follows:
1) an introductory section where the main issues of Theoretical Philosophy will be clarified: the features of the philosophical question, the distinction between certainty and truth, general metaphysics or ontology, special metaphysics (rational psychology, rational cosmology, rational theology), gnoseology, epistemology, phenomenism, hermeneutics, moral and ethics, aesthetics;
2) the development of ethics, as illustrated in “Il principio di responsabilità”, the main text of Jonas’ production;
3) metaphysical implications (only mentioned by Jonas), that will be dealt with by comparing the vision of the world of the modern thought (focussed on a phenomenic consideration of the objects of knowledge) and the tenets of Husserl, Heidegger and personalism.
In this section of the course, by means of the text “L’io nell’era tecnologica”, we will attempt to restructure a unified theoretical field, where it is possible to frame the new tasks of human thinking and of human actions in the technological time.

Textbooks for the examination:
- for the introductory section: lesson notes or, for the non-attenders, the corresponding entries in Dizionario Filosofico di ABBAGNANO N., UTET.
- JONAS H., Il principio di responsabilità, Einaudi, Torino 2002 (dal cap. I al cap. IV, pp.1-173).
- LA RUSSA A., L’io nell’era tecnologica – Fisionomia certezze e problemi, QuiEdit, Verona 2006

Assessment methods and criteria

Written test (multiple choice and open questions) or oral exam, depending on the student’s choice.