Politics and Theories of the Human (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Olivia Guaraldo
Olivia Guaraldo
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A dal Feb 18, 2019 al Mar 30, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at an in-depth analysis - through an analytical readings of texts – of relevant themes in modern and contemporary political philosophy. Main focus of the analysis will be the relationship between modes of configuring subjectivity (of thinking the subject) and modes of political organization (of thinking the political). This investigation, which is at once political, epistemological and ontological, will put its focus on the relationship modern and contemporary philosophy establishes between concepts and experiences.
Expected results will be:
- capacity to carry out an analytical and critical reading of complex philosophical texts;
- ability to individually elaborate an oral critical-argumentative parcours on the specific issues discussed;
- ability to individually elaborate a written critical-argumentative text based on the mandatory readings, discussion in class, personal original elaboration;
- conceptual ability to autonomously face philosophico-political problems and dilemmas of our present (i.e.: equality/difference, subjects/power, individual freedom/political order).


Does love count for freedom? The relevance of feelings for political action.

How to think revolt today? Faced with the difficulties of the social sciences in theorizing the contemporary movements of rebellion and resistance to political domination, which are mainly traced back to a semantic constellation of negative feelings (rage, fear, resentment, hatred), the course aims at exploring the possibility of conceiving transformative political action in different terms. In the light of the philosophical speculation on the experience of the European Resistance, the course will put the phenomenologies of action delineated in Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution (1963) and in Albert Camus’s The Rebel (1951) in dialogue with each other as providing an alternative approach to the liberal and the hegelian-marxist philosophical-political traditions. The proposed texts will stimulate an investigation into the role played by feelings and, especially, by love and hatred in rethinking the relationship between freedom and public happiness.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Sharpe, Matthew “Appendix One: L’Homme révolté in 40 Premises”, in Id., Camus, philosophe, Leiden-Boston, Brill, pp. 393-402. 2018
Novello, Samantha “Il meriggio del pensiero. Fenomenologia della rivolta in Albert Camus”, in La società degli individui. Quadrimestrale di filosofia e teoria sociale, n. 56, 2016/2, pp. 142-158. 2016
Guaraldo, Olivia “«La libertà di essere liberi». Circolarità della politica e autonomia della rivoluzione in Hannah Arendt”, in Filosofia politica, 2/2018, pp. 285-300. il Mulino 2018 Filosofia politica, 2/2018, pp. 285-300.
Camus, Albert L'uomo in rivolta (1951) Bompiani 2017
Berkowitz, Roger “Protest and Democracy: Hannah Arendt and the Foundation of Freedom”, in Stasis, vol. 6, 2018/1, pp. 36-55. 2018
Guaraldo, Olivia Public Happiness: Revisiting and Arendtian Hypothesis”, in Philosophy Today, vol. 62, n. 2, Spring 2018, pp. 395-416. 2018
Forti, Simona Ripensare la rivoluzione, in Hannah Arendt tra filosofia e politica, pp. 235-264 Bruno Mondadori 2006
Arendt, Hannah Sulla rivoluzione Einaudi 2009 9788806200305
Dal Pra, Mario “Sul trascendentalismo della prassi”, in M. Dal Pra - A. Vasa, Il trascendentalismo della prassi, la filosofia della resistenza, a cura di M. G. Sandrini, Milano-Udine, Mimesis, 2017, pp. 273-281. 2017

Assessment methods and criteria

Final examination will consist in an oral discussion on the themes of the course. Students will be asked to start with a presentation of a topic individually chosen from those discussed in class (or present in the texts). After this individual presentation the student will be asked about the major theoretical problems dealt with during the course (class discussion and texts). Final evaluation will consider historical-philosophical and historical-political knowledge of the context treated in the course as well as ability to autonomously face philosophical-political dilemmas related to the reality of public life (public debates, public emergencies, public opinion).
The program is the same for attending and non-attending students.
Yet attending students will be asked to participate actively in the course through oral presentations in class of topics and texts relevant for the program: such presentations, together with active and regular attendance of classes, will constitute 40% of the final evaluation.