Political phylosophy (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Ilaria Possenti
Ilaria Possenti
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 9, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

Political Philosophy The course aims to provide examples of the contribution that philosophy can bring to a critical understanding of political and social issues, particularly referring to democracy and citizenship, and to public communication about them. At the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate: to have acquired a precise knowledge of the topics addressed in the course (authors, theories, concepts) and an appropriate historical and hermeneutic approach to philosophical texts; to be able to expose specific topics in an orderly and synthetic way, and with the appropriate language skills; to have developed the ability to formulate his/her own judgment. They will also acquire the capability to communicate philosophical contents to specialists and non-specialists alike, and to continue their studies at a MA level.


According to Andrè Gorz, the ecological question is an economic and political question. More specifically, it represents a challenge to the modern models of state sovereignty and capitalist growth.
The course aims to offer historical-philosophical and theoretical-critical knowledge useful for the understanding of these models and of Gorz's ecological-political perspective, aimed to intertwin the Marxian criticism of homo oeconomicus with philosophical reflection on political freedom.
The first part of the course will offer an introduction to the history of political and social philosophy, supported by the reading of selected passages from classics (Aristotele, John Locke, Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt). The second part will then be devoted to the reading of A. Gorz, "Ecologia e libertà" (1977), which still raises fundemantal issues for political philosophy and modern society.

1. S. Petrucciani, “Modelli di filosofia politica”, Einaudi 2003: I, pp. 11-30; II, pp. 33-36 e 47-59; III, pp. 61-68; IV, pp. 77-88 e 91-102; V, pp. 125-136 e 150-163; VI, pp. 167-74.
2. Classics: selected passages from Aristotele, John Locke, Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt (available on Moodle).
3. A. Gorz, "Ecologia e libertà", ed. by E. Leonardi, Orthotes 2015.

Lectures will be based on reading and discussion of texts and topics.
Students will receive the full lesson calendar and further information on the first day of class.
Informations and some texts and documents will be available on Moodle.
Throughout the academic year, the teacher holds "Ricevimento studenti" (office hours) at the times indicated on her webpage (it is recommended that you consult the page to be informed of any changes): http://www.dsu.univr.it/?ent=persona&id=20137&lang=it

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
André Gorz Ecologia e libertà Orthotes 2015
S. Petrucciani Modelli di filosofia politica Einaudi 2003

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam (from January 2021 to February 2022).
The exam wil be based on analysis and discussion of texts. Students are therefore required to bring the readings at the exam.
Final evaluation will consider:
- philosophical-political knowledge
- argumentative skills
- critical thinking skills