Moral Philosophy B (p) (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giorgio Erle
Giorgio Erle
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A, Sem. 1B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Based on the knowledge of moral philosophy classics and on the main themes of the western philosophical tradition emerging from them, the course also aims to promote the development of the skill to understand philosophical moral texts within their historical-critical framework and a correct hermeneutic approach, the skill to appropriately use a thoroughly philosophical terminology and also to produce personal reflection in order to formulate independent judgements on the genesis, nature and meaning of the addressed issues. Finally, these objectives are also understood in order to develop the ability to continue studies in a Master’s degree.


About the origin of the link between reason and moral agency: Kant and the “Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals”.

An interpretation and a discussion on Kant’s “Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals” (1785) and on its role in the context of trascendental philosophy will be proposed, with particular reference to the relationship between reason and moral agency. For this purpose, the following points will be developed inter alia:
- the “Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals” (1785) in the context of the development of trascendental philosophy, with particular reference to Kantian practical philosophy and to some biographical aspects about Kant;
- the role of a “Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals” regarding the relationship between practical philosophy and philosophical system according to Kant;
- the “Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals” as a research and a definition of the “supreme principle of morality”;
- understanding “good will” and “duty” by Kant: the need for the knowledge that leads to practical philosophy;
- comparison with “popular moral philosophy” and the distinction between autonomy and eteronomy of the will as a fundamental aspect establishing Metaphysics of morals;
- categorical imperative and hypothetical imperative;
- freedom as origin of the autonomy of the will;
- “ideas of morality” and the kantian distinction between sensible world and intelligible world;
- the “extreme limit” of practical philosophy according to Kant;
- Kantian practical philosophy and the issue of concreteness.

Mandatory reference texts
1) Immanuel Kant, Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi, introduzione e traduzione di Filippo Gonnelli, Laterza [Classici della filosofia con testo a fronte], Roma-Bari 2018;
2) Luca Fonnesu, Per una moralità concreta. Studi sulla filosofia classica tedesca, il Mulino, Bologna 2010, pages 1-84;
3) Filippo Gonnelli, Introduzione a I. Kant, Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi, cit., pages V-XXXIV (this is the Introduction to the above mentioned edition of "Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi");
4) Manfred Kuehn, Kant. Una biografia, edizione italiana a cura di Stefano Bacin, il Mulino, Bologna 2011, chapter VII “Il fondatore di una metafisica dei costumi (1784-1787)”, pages 409-479. It is reccomended to also refer to pages 7-11 of the same book concerning the explanation of abbreviations used.

The reference texts here above are mandatory for both attending and non-attending students.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Immanuel Kant Fondazione della metafisica dei costumi Laterza 2018 978-88-420-5365-1
Manfred Kuehn Kant. Una biografia Il Mulino 2011 978-88-15-14931-2
Luca Fonnesu Per una moralità concreta. Studi sulla filosofia classica tedesca Il Mulino 2010 978-88-15-13465-3

Assessment methods and criteria

For both attending and non-attending students the exam consists of an oral test concerning the program and the reading list above indicated as “mandatory reference texts”.
To pass the exam, students will have to demonstrate that they have achieved the learning outcomes; therefore the following will be verified:
1) Acquired knowledge and interpretation skills concerning mandatory reference texts and course program, in the light of a valid critical and hermeneutical approach to those same texts and to addressed issues;
2) Skill to use a thoroughly philosophical terminology;
3) Skill to develop a reflection in the perspective of moral philosophy on the addressed issues.

The grades are expressed in thirtieths.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and in accordance with the University of Verona guidelines, during the 2020 summer session the assessment modality will be modified as follows: online oral exam.
Also during the 2020 autumn session the assessment modality will be: online oral exam.
Also during the 2020/2021 winter session the assessment modality will be: online oral exam.