HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
cod. 00961

Academic year 2020/21
1° year of course - Second semester
Professor
- Beatrice CENTI
Academic discipline
Storia della filosofia (M-FIL/06)
Field
Storia della filosofia
Type of training activity
Characterising
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in ITALIAN

Learning objectives

Within the context of the outlook offered in this advanced level course, it is required knowledge of contemporary philosophical issues, both in terms of their historical genesis and of their current relevance (descriptor 1).
Conceptual analysis is aimed at clarifying the problems, the arguments offered and the conclusion developed by each author, with special attention given to his interlocutors and to the critical debate of which an author was part or gave rise to (descriptor 2). Skill in critique and autonomous formulation and treatment of problems are also developed (descriptor 3 e 5). The historical context in which each author developed his own views is constantly referred to, in order to show the relations between philosophy and society, philosophy and science, philosophy and culture (descriptor 3). 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.
Ability to orient oneself in the principal issues of the history of philosophy thanks to direct knowledge of the classic authors based on reading of the works. Ability to read works in at least one foreign language. The Italian translation will be checked and corrected through comparison with the critical German edition.
Knowledge of research techniques and bibliographic documentation.
Regular consultation of the main Italian and foreign philosophy journals to remain up-to-date on contemporary philosophical debate (descriptor 4 e 5). Ability to prepare a short critical essay on a philosophical topic or a review of a critical work (descriptor 4 e 5).
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. In addition, within each subject, students are asked to demonstrate their skills in understanding and argumentation by means of compiling essays on the subjects studied.

Prerequisites

Knowledge of main tendencies in the history of philosophy; 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 the method, a work or part of a work by Kant.

Course unit content

The course aims both to present and discuss the difference between an action and a moral action and to analyze the functions of desire, imagination and rational motivation in a moral action. From this point of view, the course aims to analyze the distinction between facts and values and the doctrine of the naturalistic fallacy in the modern and contemporary philosophy.

Full programme

Kurt Baier, Il punto di vista morale, una base razionale per l’etica, trad.it. di M. Zanichelli, Rubbettino 2018.
H. Putnam, Fatto/valore: fine di una dicotomia e altri saggi, introduzione di Mario De Caro, tr. it. di Gianfranco Pellegrino, Fazi, Roma, 2004
H. Putnam, Etica senza ontologia, prefazione di Luigi Perissinotto, tr. it. di Eddy Carli, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2005.


For students which will go deep into the syllabus:
L. Ceri, S.F. Magni, Le ragioni dell’etica, ETS, Pisa 2004

S. Cremaschi, Breve storia dell’etica, capitoli 22-29, Carocci, Roma 2012.

Bibliography

Kurt Baier, Il punto di vista morale, una base razionale per l’etica, trad.it. di M. Zanichelli, Rubbettino 2018.
H. Putnam, Fatto/valore: fine di una dicotomia e altri saggi, introduzione di Mario De Caro, tr. it. di Gianfranco Pellegrino, Fazi, Roma, 2004
H. Putnam, Etica senza ontologia, prefazione di Luigi Perissinotto, tr. it. di Eddy Carli, Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2005.

Teaching methods

This second degree course alternates classroom lectures with seminar sessions. Through detailed analysis of a major work in the history of thought – the translation of whose key passages are checked against the original text – students will become acquainted with a specific moment in the history of philosophy and the forms of conceptual analysis and argumentation used to take on a series of issues (descriptors 1, 2, 3). Students can present either an oral or a written report (descriptors 4, 5): either 1) a review of the principal arguments of one of the authors covered on the basis of first-hand reading of a work; or 2) a discussion of one of the arguments presented during the course.
In addition, works that (although they are 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.

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral examination tends to verify 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.
The examination provides an opportunity for further discussion and further dialogue with the professor. In this sense, students are also invited to examine particular subjects close to the topics of the lectures (descriptor 5). Assessment criteria and assessment thresholds:
30 cum laude: Excellent, excellent solidity of knowledge, excellent expressive properties, excellent understanding of the concepts
30: Very good. Complete and adequate knowledge, well-articulated and correctly expressed.
27-29: Good, satisfactory knowledge, essentially correct expression.
24-26: Fairly good knowledge, but not complete and not always correct.
22-23: Generally sufficient knowledge but superficial. Expression is often not appropriate and confused.
18-21: Elementary and defective knowledge. The expression and articulation of the speech show important gaps.

Other information

The type of issues covered in this course makes it possible each year to examine key moments in the history of contemporary philosophy with special attention 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.