The history of modern philosophy (p) (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giuseppe Fornari
Giuseppe Fornari
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A dal Feb 17, 2020 al Mar 28, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to develop a trajectory based on a direct study of texts with a view to enabling the critical understanding of a crucial topic for early-modern philosophy. The interweaving of conceptual analysis, historical reconstruction and close examination of single texts should in fact enable students to develop complex philosophical competences.

The anticipated learning objectives are as follows:

1) Knowledge and understanding of early-modern philosophical contexts;
2) Knowledge and understanding of some of the most representative texts of early-modern philosophy;
3) Knowledge and understanding of the lexicon of early-modern philosophy.

1) Applying acquired knowledge and understanding to the critical reading of and commentary on early-modern philosophical texts, possibly in the original or at least with some reference to it, wherein particular attention will be paid to the history of the editions of the same text;
2) Applying acquired knowledge and understanding to the analysis of crucial concepts for early-modern philosophy;
3) Making autonomous judgments and engaging in independent reasoning;
4) Developing communication skills in the following areas: participating in guided discussions, explaining ideas and defending these through argument, and possibly delivering short presentations in class;
5) Enacting autonomous learning skills through the development of an appropriate methodology of study, historical reconstruction and interpretation of texts.


The gnosiological problem from Descartes to Kant and the interpretive debate on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, with a particular attention to the difference between its two editions (1781 and 1787).
Aim of the syllabus is to identify the specific meaning of the cognitive problem such as it emerges in Descartes and in the post-Cartesian debate and to study in depth its mature formulation in the Critique of the Pure Reason by Kant. The complex elaboration of the first Kantian Critique arouses a critical debate that divides those who prefer its first edition of and those who prefer the second, and perhaps the highest moment of this debate is the interpretation of Kant's masterpiece advanced by Heidegger. The still unsolved question is the real importance of Kant in modern philosophy and the real philosophical import of the gnosiological problem.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Immanuel Kant Critica della ragion pura Adelphi 1976 L'edizione consigliata è quella curata da Giorgio Colli. Il testo tedesco sarà consultato dal docente durante le lezioni dove necessario.
René Descartes Discorso sul metodo Laterza   L'edizione consigliata è quella Laterza con testo francese a fronte.
Martin Heidegger Kant e il problema della metafisica Laterza 2004 Anche per questo testo l'originale tedesco sarà consultato durante le lezioni dove opportuno.
Giuseppe Fornari Mito, tragedia, filosofia. Dall'antica Grecia al Moderno Studium 2018 Del testo saranno indicate alcune parti da studiare.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will be an oral discussion and commentary on the required texts.