PHILOSOPHY OF ARTS AND SYMBOLIC PROCESSES
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide:
- Descriptor 1 (Knowledge and understanding): in-depth knowledge on a classic theme of aesthetic reflection; the ability to understand aesthetic-philosophical texts, even complex, analyzing and discussing the theories contained in them; analytical and logical-argumentative skills for what concerns artistic language and the relationship it has with other languages and forms of knowledge (scientific and philosophical).
- Descriptor 2 (Applying knowledge and understanding): ability to apply the logical-argumentative techniques in a particular case (the question of metaphor), assessing the correctness and logical rigour; the ability to argue and expose some thesis in writing, and comparing them to the critical bibliography.
- Descriptor 3 (Making judgments): ability to integrate knowledge and to approach critically aesthetic-philosophical concepts and theories; ability to infer, from reading a text, the author's theoretical perspective; ability to analyze thoroughly an aesthetic-philosophical problem, by reconstructing in autonomous way the main lines of interpretation and the related bibliography.
- Descriptor 4 (Communication skills): ability to communicate clearly and strictly his own thesis, to both specialist and non-specialist.
- Descriptor 5 (Learning skills): ability to understand, analyze and discuss new aesthetic and philosophical theories, even in an interdisciplinary framework.
Course contents summary
Course Title: "Metaphor, meaning, reference"
The course will focus on the metaphor, a classic theme of aesthetics that is now, in recent decades, a subject of wider discussion. The metaphor will not be understood as a mere poetic-rhetorical artifice, but as a semantic device that brings together different conceptual domains, rearrange categories and knowledge.
The first part of the course will deal with the interaction view of Max Black, who has had great influence on later studies (also in the area of cognitive sciences), stating the cognitive value of metaphor and its proximity to the theoretical models of science. To put this theory, we will analyze in advance the conception of the meaning that Black elaborates at odds with the positions of Russell and the early Wittgenstein.
The second part of the course will focus on the conception of metaphor developed by Nelson Goodman in Languages of art, that is, in the context of a constructivist philosophy which criticizes the idea of knowledge as a unique description and objective of the world. The third part of the course will analyze finally some questions posed by Paul Ricoeur: Why cognitive function of metaphor emerges only when switching from a theory of "metaphor-word" to a theory of "metaphor-sentence"? What links exist between the cognitive function of metaphor and its ability to produce innovation semantics? And what links exist between the semantic innovation produced by a metaphor "alive" and the type of reference due to the poetic language and artistic?
The discussion around the metaphor will therefore reflect both the peculiarities of the language of art, and on the relationship that it can entertain with other languages and other forms of rationality.
-M. Black, Modelli archetipi metafore, Pratiche, Parma, 1983 or 1992 or any other issue, including in the English language (only the following three chapters: "Metaphor," Models and Archetypes”, "Metaphor, again").
-M. Black, The Nature of Mathematics: A Critical Survey, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1965 or any other issue (only pp. 1-40, 76-84, 129-134: photocopies will be available at the University Library of Reggio Emilia).
-N. Goodman, I linguaggi dell’arte, Il Saggiatore, Milano, 1998, or any other issue, including in the English language (only the first two chapters: "Remaking reality," "The sound of the images").
-P. Ricoeur, La metafora viva, Jaca Book, Milano, 2010 or any other issue, including in the French language (only the following chapters or "studies": 3, 7 and 8).
In addition, a text chosen from the following:
-M. Black et alii, Capire Wittgenstein, edited by M. Andronico, D. Marconi, C. Penco, Marietti, Genova, 1988.
- Nelson Goodman, Vedere e costruire il mondo, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2008.
-E. Franzini e M. La Matina (eds.), Nelson Goodman, la filosofia e i linguaggi, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2007.
-S. Chiodo, Visione o costruzione: Nelson Goodman e la filosofia analitica contemporanea, Led, Milano, 2006.
-L. Marchetti, Arte ed estetica in Nelson Goodman, Aesthetica Preprint, Palermo, 2006.
-R. Messori, Poetiche del sensibile. Le parole e i fenomeni tra esperienza estetica e figurazione, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2013.
-A. Martinengo, Il pensiero incompiuto: ermeneutica, ragione, ricostruzione in Paul Ricœur, Aliberti, Firenze, 2008.
-J. Derrida, “La mitologia bianca”, in Margini – della filosofia, Einaudi, Torino 1997, pp. 275-349, e Id., “Il ritrarsi della metafora”, in Psyché. Invenzioni dell’altro, vol. 1, Jaca Book, Milano, 2008, pp. 67-102.
-Jean-Luc Amalric, Ricoeur, Derrida : L’enjeu de la métaphore, Puf, Paris, 2006.
- Gert-Jan van der Heiden, The Truth (and Untruth) of Language: Heidegger, Ricoeur and Derrida on Disclosure and Displacement, Duquesne University Press, 2010.
-M. Salvioli, Il Tempo e le Parole. Ricoeur e Derrida a “margine” della fenomenologia, ESD, Bologna 2006.
-P.A. Rovatti, Guardare ascoltando: filosofia e metafora, Bompiani, Milano, 2003.
During the lessons will be analyzed, discussed and compared with each other theories of metaphor Max Black, Nelson Goodman and Paul Ricoeur. The course will be supported by seminars, in which we will emphasize the analysis of texts, urging students to extrapolate, discuss and critically reconstruct the theories contained therein. There will also be individual exercises in the form of written reports, in which the student can apply the knowledge and skills learned while developing independence of judgment and ability to communicate clearly and strictly his own thesis.
Assessment methods and criteria
- Mode of the final assessment: a written report on a topic agreed with the teacher and an oral interview. Each of the two tests will be evaluated in thirty, and the final grade will be the average between the two votes. The examination as a whole is passed if the average of the two votes is at least 18/30.
- The oral examination, by means of open questions on the topics covered in the course, will check both the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, both the analytical and logical argumentation. The written report will test the ability to apply knowledge and logical- argumentative techniques in a particular case, and to communicate their thesis in a clear and rigorous way; it will also verify the ability to expose critical concepts and theories, even independently tracking the most relevant literature in relation to a given problem.
- BANDS OF SCORING:
INSUFFICIENT: from 0 to 17.