Philosophical anthropology (p) (2013/2014)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Carlo Chiurco
Carlo Chiurco
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem IIB dal Apr 21, 2014 al Jun 8, 2014.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

Cultural anthropology tries to interpretate the differences that arise between individuals belonging to the same culture, or between different cultures, treating each of them as if it were an individual. Therefore, it takes these differences as a matter of fact, whereas philosophical anthropology rather tries to understand why, and by which means, men in general respond to the stimuli coming from their environments by creating the cultures in which they live. Thus philosophical anthropology ends up asking itself which sense - if there is any - men find for themselves, for their presence, their place and their duty in the world.


After more than two thousand years of exile, tragedy came back as the core both of philosophical reflection and attitude in the works of Nietzsche. It had not always been so: Plato and Aristotle, just to quote the biggest names in the history of western metaphysics, felt the urge to address tragedy as one of philosophy's main concerns. But they eventually banned tragedy from the philosophical Republic they were building on the foundation of Logos. It is therefore very likely that such erasing, dressed up as mere criticism, of tragedy pursued by philosophy was central to establishing the latter as the driving force of Western civilization. The reason of such enmity could be the awareness that was behind Nietzsche's thinking from the beginning: tragedy is a deeper and more effective way of knowing the world and human existence than philosophy, and true philosophy is always truly tragic. By approaching the texts of great tragic authors, such as Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and some contemporary readings of tragedy such as that proposed by Girard, we will try to answer the question whether philosophy and tragedy are really one, or rather two realities in perennial conflict between them.

- Audio files of the lessons;
- File with the passages read from the Presocratics and Plato.
- Aristoele, "Poetica", capitoli 4 e 5.
- Eschilo, "I Sette contro Tebe"; Sofocle, "Edipo a Colono"; Euripide, "Baccanti".
- Nietzsche, "La nascita della tragedia"; passi scelti da "La filosofia nell'epoca tragica dei Greci e scritti 1870-73".

Testi facoltativi utili per la comprensione delle tematiche:
- René Girard, "Il capro espiatorio", passi scelti (per l'interpretazione di Sofocle).
- Carlo Chiurco, "Etica e sacro", capitolo 2 (per il tema nel doppio nei Presocratici).

Assessment methods and criteria

The final test consists of an oral discussion of the authors, the subjects, and the texts discussed in the course.