Theoretical philosophy and mind
Learning outcomes of the course unit
1-Knowledge and understanding
The course gives an introduction (by a close reading) to the works of L. Wittgenstein.
2-Applying Knowledge and understanding
Students will be trained to recognize, reformulate, and criticize arguments with the goal to acquire the skills necessary for doing philosophical research.
3-4-5 Making judgments, communication and learning skills
Students are invited to prepare the texts autonomously so as to be able to present the main arguments in short presentations in class. Guidance during their preparing and writing the term paper will allow them to develop the skills necessary to participate autonomously in the philosophical debate and to learn and enlarge their knowledge in an autonomous way.
Course contents summary
The nature of rules and rule-following
The course will focus on the notion of rule and on the criteria that allow us to distinguish pattern-governed from rule-following behavior. We will start with a discussion of Wittgenstein's observations on rule-following ("Philosophical Investigations") and then analyze the essential aspects of rules (and the difference between rules, laws of nature, and regularities).
The bibliography will be indicated at the beginning of the course.
It will contain, among other texts:
Conterrà, tra gli altri, i seguenti testi:
• Black, Max. “The Analysis of Rules.” In Models and Metaphors: Studies in Language and Philosophy, 95–139. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1962.
• Haugeland, John. "Having Thought: Essays in the Metaphysics of Mind." Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998. (Selezioni)
• Rawls, John. “Two Concepts of Rules.” The Philosophical Review 64, (1955): 3–32.
• Wittgenstein, Ricerche filosofiche, ed. it. a cura di M. Trinchero, Torino: 1999. (Selezioni)
During the meetings we will read and analyse works by Ludwig Wittgenstein. There will be ample room for discussing the various aspects that emerge from the texts. The success of the course will depend essentially on the students’ active participation in discussion and they are encouraged to share their interests, doubts, and perplexities with the others. Students who are not able to assist the meetings in class will be able to follow the course via internet (the specifics of the online-platform will be announced).
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam consists in writing a short term-paper (10-12 pages ca.) in which the student shows their competences in formulating and discussing in an argumentative way a specific philosophical problem (in the field of self-knowledge), to reconstruct and contrast relevant arguments that have bee proposed by the philosophers discussed in class with the goal to draft a text that is informative for a non-expert reader. Students are invited to pay attention to the own expressive tools, to the coherent use of technical terminology, the cogency of the argument and a concise style.
The oral part of the exam consists in a discussion of the term paper.