Learning outcomes of the course unit
1-Knowledge and understanding
The course introduces some the main position concerning self-knowledge and the role it plays in different philosophical traditions. This allows the students to grasp the logical space in which the debate is situated as well as the state of the contemporary debate on the topic.
2-Applying Knowledge and understanding
Through a close analysis of arguments proposed by classical philosophers students acquire techniques necessary for formulating and criticizing an argument. In addition, they sharpen their conceptual tools to engage in the debate.
3-4- Making judgments, communication skills
Students are encouraged to participate actively in discussion in class, which should train them to weigh arguments, arrive at defending a specific position and formulate arguments in favor of it.
Great emphasis will be put on reading skills: students will be trained to recognize philosophical arguments and come up with a rational reconstruction which highlights the impact of the respective argument for the debate. In short, they acquire techniques necessary for studying other topics and doing philosophy autonomously.
Course contents summary
Self-knowledge, the knowledge of one's own sensations, thoughts, and desires seems to be the most immediate form of knowledge we can have; one can doubt whether the world really is the way it appears to be, but no one can doubt that it does appear in this specific way. As a consequence, self-consciousness and self-knowledge have played a central role in philosophy throughout its history.
The goal of the course is twofold: on the one hand we will discuss and analyse different conceptions of the I and of self-knowledge, on the other we will pay attention to the philosophical methods that have been developed on the basis of these conceptions.
The course bibliography consists of selections of works from great philosophers (Descartes, Locke, Kant, Brentano, Husserl, Ryle, and others). The detailed list of texts will be communicated at the beginning of the course and can be consulted at the course-website on lea.unipr.it
Lectures and discussion in class. Moreover, there will be meetings ("ora di approfondimento") that allow to discuss and further develop the topics discussed in class. These meetings will be scheduled in the later afternoon in order to invite working students who cannot participate in the lectures. The participation is not obligatory.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam consists of a written part with short questions, and, a few days later, an oral part with more general questions. Each part weighs 50% of the final grade.