HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY (UNIT A)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Knowledge of the primary arguments of the History of Philosophy from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The type of issues covered in this course makes it possible each year to examine key moments in the history of thought of this period with special attention given to the fundamental moments in preceding historical periods.
Ability to comprehend the principal lines of argument of a philosophical text, including on the basis of lexical skills that make it possible to comprehend the relevance of given philosophical terms in given historical contexts.
Knowledge of the type of problems and the method of approaching them in philosophy in relation to precise historical and cultural contexts.
Within the context of the outlook offered in this course, knowledge of contemporary philosophical issues, both in terms of their historical genesis as well as their current relevance.
Knowledge of main tendencies in the history of philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the first half of the 20th century.
Direct knowledge of a number of philosophy texts, for example one of Plato’s dialogues, one of the books of Metaphysics by Aristotle, the Cartesian Discourse on method, a work or part of a work by Kant.
Knowledge of one foreign language and at least some terms of the Greek and German philosophical lexicon.
Course contents summary
Course Title: To know and to value
To represent and to know an object are acts very different from to love it or to rejoice over it or to value it. The history of philosophy has devoted many studies to the problem of the relations between these two classes of acts, that is between knowledge and ethics, between knowledge and aesthetics. The course aims to provide the conceptual analysis of the relations between knowledge and valuation in the kantian Critique of the Judgement and in the second book of the Ideas for a pure Phenomenology and a phenomenological Philosophy of Husserl, with particular attention to the concepts of secondary qualities, of feeling, of value.
I. Kant, Critica della capacità di giudizio, trad. it. di L. Amoroso, BUR, Milano 19982, vol. I, Prefazione, Introduzione, Parte prima: Critica del giudizio estetico.
E. Husserl, Idee per una fenomenologia pura e per una filosofia fenomenologica, Libro secondo, Ricerche fenomenologiche sopra la costituzione (1952), Sezione I, II, III, trad. it. di E. Filippini, a cura di V. Costa, Einaudi, Torino 2002.
N. Abbagnano-G. Fornero, Protagonisti e testi della Filosofia, Paravia-Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2000.
F. Cioffi e altri, Diàlogos, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2000.
Histories of Philosophy:
N. Abbagnano, Storia della filosofia, voll. 3, 4 (in collaborazione con G. Fornero), UTET, Torino 1994.
C. A. Viano, P. Rossi, Storia della filosofia, voll. 4, 5, 6, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1997-1999.
N. Abbagnano, Dizionario di Filosofia, UTET, Torini 1987 2
J. Ritter e altri, Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Schwabe, Basel, 1971 –
To learn thoroughly: :
A. Guerra, Introduzione a Kant, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1998.
B. Centi, Coscienza, etica e architettonica in Kant. Uno studio attraverso le Critiche, Biblioteca di “Studi Kantiani”, Istituti editoriali e poligrafici internazionali, Pisa-Roma 2002.
F. Menegoni, Critica del Giudizio. Introduzione alla lettura, La Nuova Italia Scientifica, Roma 1995
R. Bernet, I. Kern, E. Marbach, Husserl, il Mulino, Bologna 1992.
V. Costa, E. Franzini, P. Spinicci, La fenomenologia, Einaudi, Torino 2002
V. Costa, Il cerchio e l’ellisse. Husserl e il darsi delle cose, Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino 2007.
V. Gallese, Corpo vivo, simulazione incarnata e intersoggettività. Una prospettiva neuro-fenomenologica, in Neurofenomenologia. Le scienze della mente e la sfida dell’esperienza cosciente, a cura di M. Cappuccio, Milano, Bruno Mondadori 2006.
The first 6 lessons of Unit A are designed to supplement the student’s basic preparation by outlining a line of study for the history of philosophy that explains how the course material will be covered in general for key moments in ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary thought. Bibliographical information and reference texts for the History of Philosophy will be given, as well as basic texts of the History of Philosophy to allow students to create a solid basis of study.
In the classroom, textbooks that have the original text and translations side-by-side will be used; when such texts are not available, original language texts will be used so that students will become familiar with the most important terms and those specific to each author examined. At the end of the course, a list of these terms in their original language accompanied by a translation will be provided.
The course syllabus has been designed to develop the conceptual analysis of the proposed topic with direct reference to the writings of the authors examined, including through readings and discussion. Conceptual analysis is aimed at clarifying the problem, the arguments offered and the conclusion developed by each author, with special attention given his interlocutors and critical debate of which he was part or gave rise to. The historical context in which each author developed his own views is constantly referred to. In addition, works that (although not part of the final exam) are important for understanding the theoretical and historical relevance of the arguments covered, will be presented briefly. These works, such as critical essays, are made available to students who wish to study in more depth the arguments covered in the classroom.
At the start of the course students are informed that they will be required to produce a written work that may be: 1) a review of the principal arguments of one of the authors covered on the basis of first-hand reading of a work; 2) a discussion of one of the arguments presented during the course.
Seminars for the reading and discussion of one of the texts presented as part of the course syllabus will be organised, as well as seminars in which students will present their written work. During lectures, students are asked to reflect upon a number of especially important issues and to offer their own explanations of read passages and interpretation of views. This also promotes independent thinking on the part of the student through questions and reading assignments.
The course, divided into two units, Unit A and Unit B, is worth 10 credits. The two units of the course may also be taken separately. Subject to the permission of the course instructor, Unit B, which is more specialised, may be taken independently of Unit A which is more introductory in nature.
Modifications and supplementary material for students in other courses of study may be agreed upon.
At the end of Unit A, students may sit an exam for the material covered in order to subsequently concentrate on preparing Unit B.
Evaluation is based on ascertaining the student’s ability to comprehend and correctly present the principal topics and arguments covered during the course, the historical questions covered and the ability to grasp dilemmas and problematic aspects in the philosophical positions discussed.