Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course the student will be expected to attain the following competencies:
* autonomous elaboration of the Hegelian thought
* comprehension of its interdisciplinary aspects through the confrontation of contents and methodologies
* acquisition of a method of analysis consistent with the more recent developments the Hegelian studies
* capacity to autonomously comment and discuss the Hegelian writings and the secondary literature in an innovative way
* being able to defend philosophical arguments in the interdisciplinary ambit
* being able to attain those goals in English
Course contents summary
Interdisciplinary Aspects of the Hegelian Philosophy of Mind
The course aims at tackling the interdisciplinary aspects of the Hegelian philosophy of mind and linking them to the more recent developments in the philosophy of biology, neurosciences and the social philosophy. We will previously address the chapter on Life in the Science of Logic in which Hegel relates the mindful disposition to the biological premises of the biological organism. We will get acquainted with the Hegelian lexicon and his abstract conceptualization of the living function in order to understand the mind-life continuity. Consequently, we will deal with the recent literature addressing this topic with a primary focus on the so called enactivism. In the chapter on life we will also encounter the notion of species (Gattung) that has relevance for the Hegelian theory of both history and sociality. We will deal with it and link it to the more recent literature as well.
During the course excursions into other Hegelian books like Differenzschrift, Phenomenology of Spirit and Philosophy of Human History will be probable.
- G. W. F. Hegel, Science of Logic, translated and edited by George Di Giovanni 2010. Chapters on Teleology, Life, Idea of Cognition.
- G. W. F. Hegel, The Difference Between Fichte’s and Schelling’s Systems of Philosophy.
- E. Thompson, Life in Mind, 2007. Chapters 5 and 6.
- F. Varela, Organism: a Meshwork of Selfless Selves.
- J. Kreines, The Logic of Life: Hegel’s Philosophical Defense of Teleological Explanations of Living Beings.
- K. Ng, Life Self-Consciousness, Negativity: Understanding Hegel’s Speculative Identity Thesis
- K. Ng, Life and Mind in Hegel’s Logic and Subjective Spirit.
- B. Merker, Embodied Normativity: Revitalizing Hegel’s Account of the Human Organism.
- T. Pinkard, Does History Make Sense?, 2017. Chapter 1.
- T. Pinkard, Hegel’s Naturalism, 2012. Chapters 1 and 2.
- C. Yeomans, Freedom and Reflection, 2012. Introduction and Part IV.
In order to enhance the capacity to autonomously elaborate the Hegelian thought, students enrolled in the course are expected to actively engage in debates and discussions during the lessons and, therefore, also to read the texts of each section in advance. The standard section foresees the introduction of the arguments by either the teacher or a student and the discussion chaired by the teacher. More traditional forms of teaching will also be possible.
Assessment methods and criteria
For the evaluation students can choose between two options. They can write an essay in English (ca. 7.000 words) about a previously agreed topic, which will be discussed during the examination; however, the mark will be exclusively based on the essay. Otherwise, they can opt for an oral examination either in Italian or in English. Because of the nature of the course, I would personally suggest the first option.