Moral Philosophy (2020/2021)

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

The course aims to provide students with the knowledge of the great classics of moral philosophy and the main themes of the Western philosophical tradition emerging from them. It also aims to promote the development of the skills: to understand philosophical moral texts within their historical-critical framework and through a correct hermeneutic approach; to appropriately use a thoroughly philosophical terminology; and to produce individual 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, and the ability to communicate philosophical contents to specialists and non-specialists alike.


Moral philosophy and dialectics: for a comparison between the thoughts of Kant and Hegel.

An interpretation and discussion will be proposed on the different meanings of dialectics in Kant’s and Hegel’s thoughts with reference to the field of moral philosophy, taking as a reference for the former the “Critique of Practical Reason” and for the latter the “Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in outline” (1830).
For this purpose, the following points will be developed inter alia:

- Dialectical aspects in the search for the highest Good according to Kant in the “Critique of Practical Reason”;
- The dialectic between virtuousness and happiness and the antinomy of practical Reason;
- Moral destination of the human being and postulates of Practical Reason according to Kant;
- The relationship between Speculative and Practical Reason: the proportion between the faculties in the light of the “Dialectic of Pure Practical Reason”;
- “Doctrine of method of pure practical Reason” and the issue of moral testimony according to Kant;
- Infinity and wisdom in the “Conclusion” of the “Critique of Practical Reason”;
- Subjective Spirit and objective Spirit within the Philosophy of the Spirit and its dialectical and systematic meaning according to Hegel: the relationship between dialectics and freedom;
- Soul, consciousness and Spirit in Hegel’s understanding of the subjective Spirit;
- Law, morality and ethical life within the objective Spirit according to Hegel.

Mandatory Reference Texts
1) Immanuel Kant, Critica della Ragion Pratica, traduzione di F. Capra riveduta da E. Garin, con Glossario e Indice dei nomi a cura di V. Mathieu, introduzione di S. Landucci, Laterza [Classici della Filosofia con testo a fronte], Roma-Bari 2001, pages 235-385 (it is needed to take into account even the “Glossario” and the “Indici” also to be found in the just indicated page range);
2) S. Landucci, Genesi e struttura dell’opera, in Kant, Critica della Ragion Pratica, cit., pp. V-XXVII (this is the Introduction to the above mentioned edition of “Critica della Ragion Pratica”);
3) G.W.F. Hegel, Enciclopedia delle scienze filosofiche in compendio (1830), testo tedesco a fronte, introduzione, traduzione, note e apparati di Vincenzo Cicero, Giunti, Firenze-Milano 2017, Parte Terza “La Filosofia dello Spirito”, “Introduzione” and “Lo spirito soggettivo” and “Lo spirito oggettivo”, pages 635-895 and also the related notes to the text, numbers 275-345, pages 977-980.
4) L. Illetterati-P. Giuspoli-G. Mendola, Hegel, Carocci, Roma 2010, only Chapters 6 and 7, pages 233-296.
5) Conceptual schemes of lessons by e-learning: after each lesson a short written conceptual summary of that lesson will be loaded on the e-learning platform of the University.
The reference texts here above are mandatory for both attending and non-attending students.

The teaching methods consist of lectures during which analysis, comment and discussion of the reference texts will take place, thus addressing the program contents from the perspective of the learning outcomes.
These lectures will be provided remotely: unless otherwise indicated, they will be held in live streaming via the “Zoom” application, according to the dates and times indicated in the lesson timetable. These lectures will be accessed by the e-learning of the course on the platform “Moodle”: interested people are therefore invited, if they have not already done so, to enrol in the e-learning of the course. These lessons will also be recorded and subsequently made available for later viewing in the e-learning of the course. In the same e-learning will also be loaded short written conceptual schemes of each lesson, after its conclusion.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Immanuel Kant Critica della ragion pratica Laterza 2001 88-420-5115-2 Traduzione di F. Capra riveduta da E. Garin, con Glossario e Indice dei nomi a cura di V. Mathieu, introduzione di S. Landucci [Classici della Filosofia con testo a fronte], pagine V-XXVII e 235-385.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Enciclopedia delle scienze filosofiche in compendio (1830) Giunti 2017 978-88-452-9083-1 Testo tedesco a fronte, Introduzione, traduzione, note e apparati di Vincenzo Cicero, pagine 635-895 e 977-980.
Luca Illetterati-Paolo Giuspoli-Gianluca Mendola Hegel Carocci 2010 978-88-430-5271-4 Pagine 233-296.

Assessment methods and criteria

For both attending and non-attending students the exam consists of an oral test (in person or online, if this latter will be indicated by University provisions) 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.

Update: considering the continuing COVID-19 emergency, during the winter session 2020/2021 the above mentioned oral exam will be carried out remotely.