Politics and theories of the human (2016/2017)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Olivia Guaraldo
Olivia Guaraldo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IIA dal Feb 27, 2017 al Apr 22, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

the course aims at providing critical and methodological tools for reading and discussing texts related to political philosophy, subjectivity and the definition of the human. Students will be guided in a thorough reading of philosophical texts dealing with the complex relationship between concepts and experiences, ethics and moral, subjectivity and politics.Students will achieve conceptual skills that enable them to face autonomously philosophical-political problems of our times (dilemmas regarding the relationship between equality and difference, bodily identity and sex, power and sexuality)


In 1922 Carl Schmitt so described the complex relationship between politics and imagination: "the metaphysical frame of the world a specific epoch builds for itself has the same structure of the form of its political organization" (The concept of the political"). By overturning this sentence the course will, instead, attempt an understanding of the way in which a certain 'metaphysical configuration' - thereby meaning the theoretical posture a certain epoch embraces as predominant - influences and shapes the political imagination and the political structure. This Schmittian lucid awareness regarding the relationship between politics and metaphysics, will be applied ex contrario. Firstly we will analyze the theoretical posture of some of the major modern political philosophers (Hobbes, Locke, Hegel) and their relationship with the corresponding political organization. Secondly we will take into account two major contemporary thinkers, Judith Butler and Adriana Cavarero, in order to understand which is today's predominant theoretical posture, if and how it characterizes contemporary politics, with what outcomes.

Thomas Hobbes, Leviatano, BUR, Milano 2011, capp. XIII-XVI e XX-XXI.
John Locke, Secondo Trattato sul governo, BUR, Milano capp. I-IX.
G.W.F. Hegel, Fenomenologia dello Spirito, Sezione B. Autocoscienza, La Nuova Italia, Firenze, pp. 143-164.
These texts will be available as photocopied material.

A. Cavarero, Tu che mi guardi, tu che mi racconti. Filosofia della narrazione, Feltrinelli, Milano 1997.
A. Cavarero, Inclinazioni. Critica della rettitudine, Cortina, Milano 2013.
J. Butler, Critica della violenza etica, Feltrinelli, Milano 2005.
L. Bernini, O. Guaraldo, Differenza e relazione. L'ontologia dell'umano nel pensiero di J. Butler e Adriana Cavarero, Verona, ombre corte 2009.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Butler, Judith Critica della violenza etica Feltrinelli 2005
Bernini, L. Guaraldo, O. Differenza e relazione. L'ontologia dell'umano in Judith Butler e Adriana Cavarero ombre corte 2009
Cavarero, A. Inclinazioni. Critica della rettitudine 2013
A. Cavarero Tu che mi guardi, tu che mi racconti Feltrinelli 2001

Assessment methods and criteria

oral exam