Problems and Theories of Philosophy (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giuseppe Fornari
Giuseppe Fornari
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding At the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate the attainment of the following learning objectives: 1. knowledge and understanding of the main philosophical problems relevant to educational practice and of the related theories developed over the course of Western thought; 2. knowledge and understanding of the different methodologies available in the philosophical field, their theoretical implications and educational consequences; 3. Knowledge and understanding of the philosophical lexicon and its significance for the development of a technical terminology in the pedagogical field as well. Applying knowledge and understanding At the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate the attainment of the following learning objectives: 1. applying knowledge and understanding to possible scenarios taken from concrete educational activity; 2. applying knowledge and understanding to the reflection on situations in which the dignity of the person and crucial ethical issues determine the pedagogical practice; 3. applying knowledge and understanding to the identification and autonomous analysis of key concepts at the boundary between philosophy and pedagogy; 4. Development of a critical and independent attitude in approaching texts, authors, contexts and problems.


The aim of the course is to provide the students with a selective but wide and thoroughly studied reconstruction of the history of philosophy starting with its origin in Greece and with the more general question of the very origin of culture from experiences of mediation. In such a way the history of philosophy may become an invitation to reflect upon the question of education in all its historical and anthropological scope. After presenting some of the more important pre-Socratics (Thales, Anaximander, Heraclitus) and the thinking of Socrates and Plato, the course touches the Hebraic and Christian mediation, the general characters of the middle ages, the Renaissance, the essential features of modernity with Descartes and of the contemporary philosophy in some thinkers particularly representative; Nietzsche, Bataille, Weil.

NOTE: for the students not attending lecture the professor is available to upload information material and texts on the platform ZOOM, besides single lectures on subjects particularly meaningful or complex (always on ZOOM).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Simone Weil Attesa di Dio Adelphi 2008
René Descartes Discorso sul metodo Laterza  
Giuseppe Fornari Eraclito: la luce dell'Oscuro (Edizione 2) Olschki 2017
Platone Fedro Arnoldo Mondadori  
Georges Bataille Il colpevole Dedalo  
Friedrich Nietzsche La gaia scienza Adelphi  
Giuseppe Fornari Mito, tragedia, filosofia. Dall'antica Grecia al Moderno (Edizione 2) Mimesis 2020

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is oral and consists of a reasoned dialogue between professor and student on the topics explained and studied in the course.