History of Philosophy 1 - MODULO I (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Linda Napolitano
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A dal Sep 21, 2020 al Oct 31, 2020.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Formative tasks:
We aim at:
-(knowledge and understanding) offering a general picture of authors and schools within the ancient and mediaeval philosophy;
(communication skills) teaching to use the proper philosophical terminology;
-(applying knowledge and understanding) teaching the critical use of an original philosophical text, for acquiring basic philosophical matters and concepts.


Course's content: Title: “Words and matters of the Ancient Philosophy”
This I Module aims at exploring some terminological and conceptual points across the whole ancient philosophy (VI sec. B.C.- VI sec. A.C.). These six subjects will be particularly discussed:
1) myth, lògos and dialogue (mýthos, lògos and diàlogos);
2) nature and principle (phýsis and archè);
3) divine and kosmos (theòs and kòsmos);
4) truth, knowledge and being (alètheia, sophìa and tò òn);
5) man and soul (ànthropos and psychè);
6) virtue and happiness (aretè and eudaimonìa).
For every subject: the original Greek terms will be indicated and explained, as they contribute to form the successive basic philosophical language. The proposals will be examined of the most authoritative ancient thinkers, reading some original texts (in Italian translation). Their various theories will be confronted to each other and it will be looked for the influence they may have had on the subsequent philosophical thinking, particularly on the contemporary one.

Books to be studied
a) General Part: E. BERTI-F. VOLPI, Storia della filosofia: dall'antichità ad oggi, Edizione compatta, 2 voll. indivisibili, Roma-Bari 2007 and ss. (I Module: from the origins to Plotinus; II Module: from Augustinus to Occam); or (for the student already knowing the subject) E. BERTI, In principio era la meraviglia. Le grandi questioni della filosofia antica, Bari Laterza 2016 e ss.
b) Lecture notes (at students' disposal in the photocopies shop “Ateneo”, Lungadige Porta Vittoria)
c) Basic text: L.M. NAPOLITANO VALDITARA, Virtù, felicità e piacere nell’etica dei Greci, edizione riveduta e aggiornata, Verona aemme edizioni 2014.
d) Integrations and substitutions: student who cannot attend lessons, will also study: B. CENTRONE, Prima lezione di filosofia antica, Roma-Bari Laterza 2015. Otherwise he must approach the teacher to receive indications on adding texts, whose reading will compensate for lacking attendance: these texts will be agreed for every student, with regard to his previous knowledge, curriculum and interests (which must be indicated in the request mails).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
BERTI Enrico In principio era la meraviglia. Le grandi questioni della filosofia antica Laterza 2016
Enrico Berti - Franco Volpi Storia della filosofia: dall'antichità ad oggi (Edizione 1) Laterza 2007
Linda Napolitano Virtù, piacere e felicità nell'etica dei Greci (Edizione 1) Aemme Edizioni Verona 2014

Assessment methods and criteria

Prerequisites: Surely a previous knowledge of the history of the ancient and mediaeval philosophy allows to work easier within this scientific field: however it is not compulsory. The same can be said as to the ancient Greek and Latin languages. Better, an attention to lexical research and an interest in a critical reading of philosophical texts are very useful.

Teaching Methods: The course will be carried on by frontal lessons, with an introductory presentation of thinkers and philosophical schools, with direct reading of the texts and following discussions. Lessons will be taken, if possible, in presence, or alternatively, at distance by elearning (requests of clarification will be satisfied also by email).
The same program is valid for the students who cannot attend lessons; nevertheless, they must pay attention to the previous point d (Integrations and substitutions).
Recording lessons will be available on the e-learning system of the University and are compulsory for every student.

Assesments: Some oral questions will be put to the student; he will be invited to read and comment some passages of the examined texts. The student may freely choose to write a little paper (5-7 pages) about the subjects examined in the Course and he will send this paper to the teacher a week before the official exam: this paper will be discussed together during the exam.