History of Modern Philosophy (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giuseppe Fornari
Giuseppe Fornari
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A dal Feb 15, 2021 al Apr 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide an overview of the history of early-modern philosophy, seen as an essential moment of the wider history of Western thought, and its terminology. Special attention will be given to developing a critical approach to the most important texts as well as their central issues and concepts.
The anticipated learning objectives are as follows:
1) Knowledge and understanding of early-modern philosophical contexts (historical-cultural contexts, philosophical traditions);
2) Knowledge and understanding of the theories developed by the major early-modern philosophers;
3) Knowledge and understanding of the lexicon of early-modern philosophy.
1) Applying knowledge and understanding to the critical reading of and commentary on philosophical texts, possibly in the original or at least with some reference to it; this should be demonstrated by the mastery of an appropriate vocabulary and the ability to identify interpretative problems and suggest possible solutions;
2) Making autonomous judgments and engaging in independent reasoning;
3) Developing communication skills, also according to the recipient, in the following areas: participating in guided discussions, generating and explaining ideas and defending these through arguments, and possibly delivering short presentations;
4) Enacting autonomous learning skills through the development of an appropriate study and interpretation methodology in relation to both texts and contexts;
5) Developing the ability to connect study outcomes with personal experience and today’s world, wherein particular attention will be paid to ability to differentiate between historical circumstances and contexts.
6) Developing the capacity to communicate philosophical contents to specialists and non-specialists alike;
7) Developing the capacity to continue their studies at a MA level.


General title: The gnosiological problem as philosophical identification of the question of the human origin.
The course aims to examine the modern gnosiology in its two fundamental moments: the systematic thematization of the autonomy and centrality of human knowledge in Descartes and the most articulated theoretical formulation of gnosiology reached in modern times by Kant. This central topic will find a more general frame, on the one hand, in a general reconstruction of the relationship between ontology and gnosiology in the pre-modern thought and, on the other, in the debate on knowledge and metaphysics in Kant developed in the 20th century by Heidegger.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Immanuel Kant Critica della ragion pura Adelphi 1976
Martin Heidegger Kant e il problema della metafisica Laterza  
Giuseppe Fornari Mito, tragedia, filosofia. Dall'antica Grecia al Moderno (Edizione 2) Mimesis 2020
René Descartes Regulae ad directionem ingenii Bompiani   Va bene anche un'altra edizione purché completa

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is oral and consists of a dialogue held together with the professor in order to ascertain the comprehension of the topics of the course.