PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (UNIT A)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to provide students with critical, informed and independent judgment, and to enhance their skills for communication and continue learning (Descriptors III-V of Dublin). In particular, the course aims to provide students with the following abilities of acquiring knowledge and understanding (Descriptor I of Dublin): 1.1) knowledge of the philosophical and scientific thought during the ancient and late ancient period; 1.2) abilities to read and understand the classics of ancient philosophy, both in the original Greek and in Italian translation; 1.3) knowledge of the ancient philosophical vocabulary and the different philosophical methods required for the discussion of topics and the interpretation of texts; 1.4) knowledge of the historiographical methodology of ancient philosophy. The course also aims to provide students with the following abilities to apply the acquired knowledge and understanding (Descriptor II of Dublin): 2.1) writing clear, documented and argument-based papers, by a proper use of the texts of secondary literature and primary sources; 2.2) application of the acquired knowledge in interdisciplinary areas; 2.3) reconstruction of the genesis and development of a concept or a doctrine; 2.4) identification of the connection of ideas between the history of philosophy and other areas of science and philosophy, in particular medieval and modern philosophy; 2.5) reconstruction of cultural contexts with particular attention to the interplay of the different positions that are involved.
A first-level knowledge of ancient philosophy.
Course contents summary
After a general presentation of the main issues addressed by the ancient philosophy, Greek and Latin, pagan and Christian, the course will deal with a specific theme: that of the nature of things, in particular within the Epicurean thought and Christian worlds of Augustine
1) A university-level handbook of history of ancient philosophy.
2) The "De rerum natura" of Lucretius (an edition with parallel Latin text).
3) The "Confessions" of Augustine, in particular books XI and XII (an edition with parallel Latin text).
Lectures, presentations, term papers prepared by individual students or groups and their classroom discussion; eventual vision of bibliographic material preserved in libraries and related to the course; oral exposure of philosophical positions with public debate.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written essays personal oral verification of the levels of learning achieved
Also a good knowledge of Latin and Greek, as well as the principal modern languages would greatly help the understanding of the course content and facilitate literature searches of books and foreign magazines.