cod. 1009180

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - First semester
- Andrea Sebastiano STAITI
Academic discipline
Filosofia morale (M-FIL/03)
Istituzioni di filosofia
Type of training activity
30 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

By the end of the class the student will be able to (in accordance with the Dublin indicators):

1. Understand the challenges of contemporary ethics and appreciate some of the most prominent philosophical solutions.
2. Apply the concepts acquired by the thinkers examined in class to other areas of ethical reflection.
3. Develop a critical perspective on contemporary ethics.
4. Present in clear and argumentative manner the philosophical positions discussed in class and master at least the rudiments of philosophical discussion in English.
5. Read and comprehend autonomously complex philosophical texts devoted to ethical reflection.


Basic knowledge of methods and topics of moral philosophy, as well as proficiency in the English language are pre-requisites for this class.

Course unit content

The class aims at tackling in detail an array of topics in contemporary ethics, thereby integrating the analytical and the phenomenological perspectives.

Full programme


Metaethics is the branch of philosophy that poses the question concerning the existence of moral facts and the cognitive import of our moral claims. Phenomenology is a tradition of thought that focuses on first-personal experience and its structures. The aim of this class is to explore various key issues in contemporary metaethics from a phenomenological perspective, in particular, naturalism, the nature of values and the structure of our axiological experiences, as well as the role of intuition and perception in moral cognition.


1. Jack Reynolds, Phenomenology, Naturalism
and Science
A Hybrid and Heretical Proposal (Routledge 2018)

2. De Caro/Macarthur (eds.), THE ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF LIBERAL NATURALISM (Routledge 2022)

3. Excerpts from Husserl and other thinkers in the phenomenological tradition available on

Teaching methods

Frontal lecture, seminar-style discussion, discussion with invited international experts.

Assessment methods and criteria

One written research paper on a topic to be determined with the instructor. Alternatively, students may require to be examined orally in English or Italian after submitting a two-page critical discussion in English of one of the texts discussed in class.

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: Sufficient. The expression and articulation of the speech show important gaps.
<18: insufficient knowledge or very incomplete, lack of guidance in discipline, expression seriously deficient. Exam failed.

Other information

The research paper topic must be discussed in person with the instructor. The determination of the research paper topic should happen a good while before the chosen examination date, in order to have enough time to write the paper and have it linguistically copy-edited.