History of Philosophy (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Laura Anna Macor
Laura Anna Macor
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Conoscere e comprendere le indispensabili nozioni di base che consentano di inquadrare e di comprendere criticamente le problematiche odierne delle scienze storiche e sociali. Accostare il pensiero dei classici al fine di mostrare la linea di sviluppo e di approfondimento dei fondamentali nuclei speculativi propri della riflessione filosofica occidentale, pur nel mutare delle condizioni storiche. Utilizzare le conoscenze acquisite per comprendere più a fondo il tema della dialettica tra cittadinanza attiva e dipendenza politica dalla patria, studiato dapprima in Platone e poi nell'ambito della filosofia classica tedesca. Sviluppare la capacità di lettura e di comprensione dei testi filosofici, alimentando negli studenti il desiderio di dialogare con alcuni tra i protagonisti della storia del pensiero filosofico, affinando nel contempo l'attitudine a mettere in relazione le conoscenze acquisite con la propria esperienza personale.


-Course Content: Active Citizenship and Political Dependence on One’s Country. Sophocles, Plato and Kant.

The course will consist of two modules, equal in learning load and relevance for the final assessment:

1) General part: the course aims to offer a general introduction to the most important schools, figures and theories of Western thought with a special focus on methodological issues (canon, tradition, interdisciplinarity), terminology and text interpretation. The period covered runs from the Presocratics to Freud (for further details regarding the schools and authors included cf. the chapters of the textbook listed at 1) in “Mandatory Reading”).

2) Thematic part: the course aims to deal with the dialectic of active citizenship and political dependence on one’s country in ancient and modern thought, with special attention given to the Enlightenment in both its European and more specifically local (German) dimension, and its development in the face of the French Revolution (classical German philosophy). Moreover, a number of antinomic pairs, such as “obedience-disobedience”, “patriotism-cosmopolitism” and “human being-citizen”, will be the object of particular interest, as they can be considered alternative conceptual tools to that of “active citizenship-political dependence on one’s country”.

These two modules will not be given as separate and independent parts of the course, but will be addressed alternately in chronological order.

Teaching Methods:
The course will consist of both lectures and discussions guided by the professor with a view to enabling students to attain basic notions in the field of the history of philosophy as well as reasoning and speaking/explanatory skills. The plurality of teaching methods is conceived of as a way of helping students, who will be offered as wide a range of learning paths as possible.

Mandatory Reading:

1) U. Curi, Il coraggio di pensare, vol. 1 (Dagli arcaici al Medioevo), Loescher, Torino 2018, Sezione 1-Sezione 6, Sezione 8, Sezione 10; vol. 2A (Dal pensiero umanistico a Leibniz), Loescher, Torino 2018, Sezione 1-Sezione 3 (chapters 1-3), Sezione 4 (chapters 2, 4-5), Sezione 5 (chapters 2-4); vol. 2B (Dai libertini a Hegel), Loescher, Torino 2018, Sezione 6 (chapters 2-4), Sezione 7-Sezione 9; vol. 3A (Dalla critica del pensiero dialettico alla filosofia analitica), Loescher, Torino 2018, Sezione 1-Sezione 3 (chapters 2-6) (an alternative handbook can be discussed with the professor);

2) Learning materials distributed in class and/or published on e-learning;*

3) Sofocle, Antigone, ed. by D. Susanetti, Carocci, Roma 2012 (or other edition);

4) One of the following texts: Platone, Apologia di Socrate, ed. by G. Reale, Bompiani, Milano 2000 (or other edition), or Platone, Critone, ed. by G. Reale, Bompiani, Milano 2000 (or other edition);**

5) I. Kant, Risposta alla domanda: che cos’è l’illuminismo?, ed. by M. Bensi, Postfazione by A. M. Iacono, ETS, Pisa 2013, or in I. Kant, Scritti sul criticismo, ed. by G. De Flaviis, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1991, pp. 5-12, or in Che cos’è l’illuminismo? I testi e la genealogia del concetto, ed. by A. Tagliapietra, transl. by S. Manzoni and E. Tetamo, Mondadori, Milano 2010 (20001), pp. 16-41.

*This applies to attending students only.
**Non-attending students must study both texts.

Learning Materials:
Additional learning materials, which will form part of the mandatory reading, will be distributed during the class and/or published on e-learning.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Sofocle Antigone Carocci 2012
Platone Apologia di Socrate ( a c. di G. Reale) Milano Bompiani 2000
A. Tagliapietra (a cura di) Che cos'è l'illuminismo? I testi e la genealogia del concetto Bruno Mondadori 2010 pp. 16-41.
Platone Critone Bompiani 2000
U. Curi Il coraggio di pensare Loescher 2018 voll. 1, 2A, 2B, 3A.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam.

The exam aims to assess the attainment of the learning objectives for both the general and the thematic part, which will be addressed according the following twofold structure: 1) General part: students will have to demonstrate possession of basic facts and notions, showing ability to explain them in a systematic manner and use an appropriate terminology; 2) Thematic part: students will have to prove comprehension of the meaning of the dialectic “active citizenship-political dependence on one’s country” and the conceptual alternatives “obedience-disobedience”, “patriotism-cosmopolitism”, “human being-citizen” against the background of the particular cases studied; furthermore, they will have to read and comment on one (or more) passages taken from one of the texts indicated in “Mandatory Reading” and prove acquisition of a robust methodology for analysis and interpretation.
Each part of the exam has equal weighting, i.e., a half of the final mark.
Non-attending students must study both Dialogues by Plato indicated in 4) of the “Mandatory Reading” instead of the learning materials indicated at 2) in “Mandatory Reading”. Non-attending students are requested to contact the professor in order to receive possible suggestions for additional readings.