History of Contemporary Philosophy (2009/2010)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Mario Longo
Mario Longo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2B dal Apr 19, 2010 al Jun 6, 2010.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at providing general knowledge concerning 20th-Century philosophy. In particular it will focus on the main issues and trends of contemporary philosophical debate, and their intertwining with the topics of historical and social sciences. Special attention will be dedicated to Karl Popper: his thought can be regarded as influential on the development of physics and methodology of social sciences. Besides that, it provides new solutions in the socio-political field and also in the theological one.


The programme will be divided into two sections:
1)The following topics and authors will be approached (chosen among the many ones that are dealt with in the handbooks on History of Philosophy):
-introduction to the 20th-Century philosophical climate: neo-criticism and neo-idealism;
-pragmatism and Dewey;
-Husserl and the phenomenological orientation;
-Heidegger and the various ways to existentialism;
-Wittgestein and neo-positivism;
-neo-Scholastics and personalism;
-Gadamer and contemporary hermeneutics;
-the School of Frankfurt and neo-Marxism.
Upon agreement with the teacher, students may choose alternative topics.
2) We will try to find in Popper’s texts a definition of the nature of the scientific discourse and the meaning of science in contemporary society; we will also consider the self-affirmation of the political theory of liberalism, that Popper regards as the characteristic political form of an open society.

Texts for the exam:
1) A secondary education Philosophy handbook (ex. Reale-Antiseri, Berti-Volpi, Adorno-Gregory-Verra, Moravia, or the latest: L’esperienza del pensiero. La filosofia: storia, temi, attualità, vol. 5, Loescher, Torino 2006). For reference, see the following University handbooks: G. Fornero, Le filosofie del Novecento, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2002; Storia della filosofia, edited by C. A. Viano and P. Rossi, Vol. VI, Laterza, Roma-Bari (two vols).
2) Karl R. Popper, Logica della ricerca scientifica e società aperta, edited by D. Antiseri, La Scuola, Brescia 1997. To introduce the themes of Popper’s thought: S. Gattei, Introduzione a Popper, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2008.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination.