Philosophy of History (p) (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Matteo Bonazzi
Matteo Bonazzi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IIA dal Feb 26, 2018 al Apr 21, 2018.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to offer students the conceptual tools to understand the teaching of philosophy of history in relation to the questions posed by contemporary times. The Hegelian teleology of history will be addressed starting from the Freud’s discovery of unconscious thereby comparing philosophical and psychoanalytic experiences. Eventually both perspectives will be understood in the light of Foucault’s archaeology.
The aim is to lead students to reflect critically on the foundations of philosophy of history by interconnecting philosophy and human sciences and stimulating an aware use of the discipline’s key concepts.
The course seeks to make students capable to move from the philosophical texts to the main questions that drive them, by making judgements and by capturing the specificity of the philosophical wondering on totality, and therefore also on the historical and existential sense of thinking path proposed by the discipline.


The course will deal with the question of ‘the end’ from different perspectives: Hegelian (the End of History), psychanalytical (Finite and infinite analysis) and archaeological (the End of Man).

1. Hegel and philosophy of history
- Phenomenology of spirit: genesis, structure, logic of experience, main figures
- Hegel’s philosophy of history: “History conceptually understood”
- End of History: A. Kojève’s interpretation

2. Freud and psychanalysis
- The failure of the plan of civilization: the Drive in the Civilization and its Discontents
- The question of the end in Analysis terminable and interminable
- The end of psychanalysis: J.-L. Nancy’s interpretation

3. Foucault and archaeology
- The historical a priori and the discursive formations
- The archaeology and the question of enunciation
- “ The Laugh of Michel Foucault”: M. De Certeau’s interpretation

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
S. Freud Analisi terminabile e interminabile Bollati Borighieri 1977
Hegel Georg W. F. Fenomenologia dello spirito La Nuova Italia 1996 (sez. A. Coscienza e B. Autocoscienza, pp. 81-153)
S. Freud Il disagio nella civiltà Einaudi 2010
Michel Foucault L'ARCHEOLOGIA DEL SAPERE BUR 1999 In particolare il capitolo “La descrizione archeologica”