cod. 1006273

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - First semester
- Fabrizio AMERINI
Academic discipline
Storia della filosofia medievale (M-FIL/08)
Discipline filosofiche
Type of training activity
60 hours
of face-to-face activities
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course will provide students with tools for critical, informed and
independent judgment, and will reinforce their skills for communication
and continued learning. In particular, through this course students will
develop the following abilities of acquiring knowledge and understanding
(Dublin Descriptor I): they will be acquainted with the philosophical,
theological, and scientific thought in the Antiquity and in the Middle Ages;
they will be able to read and understand the classical texts of ancient and
medieval philosophy, know their specific terminology and the different
philosophical methods required for the discussion of topics and the
centrali della filosofia antica, tardo-anetica e medievale, alternando
lezioni di carattere storico e di analisi testuale a discussioni di problemi
filosofici e teologici antichi e medievali. Tra i molti temi affrontati e
discussi dagli autori antichi e medievali, il corso privilegerà problemi
riguardanti alcune aree filosofiche fondamentali come la metafisica e
l'ontologia, l'epistemologia e la filosofia del linguaggio, l'antropologia
filosofica, e la teologia filosofica. Più in particolare, il corso mira a
illustrare le concezioni di filosofia più rilevanti che si sono avute nel
periodo antico, tardo-antico e medievale, ricostruendo l'influenza
esercitata dal pensiero antico e tardo-antico, e segnatamente dalla
filosofia platonica e aristotelica, sulla formazione e sviluppo della filosofia
interpretation of texts; they will be acquainted with the historiography of
ancient and medieval philosophy. Through this course students also will
develop the following abilities to apply the acquired knowledge and
understanding (Dublin Descriptor II): they will be educated to elaborate
clear, documented and argument-based papers; they will be able to apply
argumentative and conceptual tools, borrowed from ancient and
medieval philosophy, in interdisciplinary fields, to solve philosophical as
well as non-philosophical problems; they will be able to reconstruct the
genesis and development of a concept, a doctrine and/or a philosophical
debate; they will be able to reconstruct the cultural contexts, with
particular attention to the interplay of the different positions that are
involved; they will be able to identify the connection of ideas between the
history of philosophy and other areas of science and philosophy, in
particular early-modern philosophy and theology. Finally, through this
course students will reinforce their communication and learning skills and
abilities of making independent judgments (Dublin Descriptors III - IV - V).
Specifically, they will be able to analyze in an independent way a
philosophical text, both from a historical and a philosophical point of
view; they will be able to assess, historically as well as philosophically,
the arguments used in a philosophical debate in order to decide a
sentence, resolve a problem and/or defend a thesis; they will be able to
criticize a philosophical position and/or a topic; they will be able to
examine concepts as to their evolution and their relations, also with
respect to other disciplinary areas; they will be able to follow, historically
as well as philosophically, the genesis of a concept, a problem and/or a
philosophical debate; they will be able to communicate the acquired
knowledge and ablities of analysis and judgment in a clear, documented,
complete and logically consequential and well-organized way, both orally
and through written papers; they will be able to evaluate and reconstruct
their learning process and the skills, abilities and knowledge they have


No specific prerequisites. The course is intended for those who lack specific skills and knowledge in the fields of ancient and medieval philosophy. Only a general acquaintance with the history of philosophy and a basic knowledge of the philosophical vocabulary is recommended. During the first few lectures of the course, however, all knowledge useful and necessary for learning the matter of the course will be given.

Course unit content

Title of the course: "Views of Philosophy between Antiquity and the Middle Ages".

The course intends to offer a general introduction to the main
authors, topics and philosophical and theological debates of the
Antiquity, Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In particular, the course
will treat some major issues of ancient and medieval metaphysics,
theories of knowledge, and questions of philosophical anthropology. In this way, the course will show the propagation and influence of Ancient Philosophy on the Medieval Philosophy.

Full programme

The course is an introduction to the most important thinkers and topics of
the Antiquity, Late Antiquity and Middle Ages. Lessons will follow the
historical development of the ancient, late-antique and medieval
philosophy, from the pre-Socratic philosophers to William of Ockham,
through discussing the most significant issues of ancient and
medievalphilosophy. Historical reconstruction and textual analysis will be
alternated with the discussion of ancient and medieval philosophical and
theological topics. Among the many topics addressed by ancient and
medieval authors, the course will focus especially on problems
concerning some fundamental areas of philosophy as methaphysics and
ontology, epistemology and philosophy of language, philosophical
anthropology, and philosophical theology. More specifically, the course
proposes to illustrate the most important views of philosophy elaborated
in the Antiquity, late Antiquity and Middle Ages, and to reconstruct the
influence exerted by the ancient and late-antique philosophies (especially
Platonic, Aristotelian and Neo-Platonic) on medieval philosophy.



It is required the knowledge of a handbook of the history
of ancient and medieval philosophy.
Recommended basic handbook:

• C. Esposito - P. Porro, "Filosofia antica e medievale", Laterza, Roma-Bari 2009.

In order to participate to the exam, students are moreover requested to write a paper (at least
5 pages), to be sent to fabrizio.amerini@unipr.it some days before the
date chosen for the exam, on the following text:

- Aristotele, "L'anima", a cura di G. Movia, Bompiani, Milano 2001.

Indications on how ro write the paper will be given on the first lessons of the course.


Students who want to extend or deepen their knowledge can read the following two handbooks, in addition or in substitution of the basic handbook:

1) G. Cambiano, "Storia della filosofia antica", Laterza, Roma-Bari 2004.

2) A. Kenny, "Nuova storia della filosofia occidentale. Filosofia medievale", Einaudi, Torino 2012.

Students who cannot attend regularly the lessons or want to
deepen further their knowledge can consult also the following two anthologies:

- M. Bonazzi, R. L. Cardullo, G. Casertano, E. Spinelli, F. Trabattoni (a cura di), "Filosofia antica", Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2005.

- M. Bettetini, L. Bianchi, C. Marmo, P. Porro (a cura di), "Filosofia
medievale", Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2004.

Any other didactic material examined or distributed during the lessons will be made available on the ELLY platform.

Teaching methods

Oral lessons. During the classes the topics that will be discussed are those of the general contents of the course; they can be implemented by other didactic materials, in addition to those indicated in bibliography, materials that will be however made available on the ELLY
platform. Oral lessons can be complemented with seminars reserved to
the reading of texts and/or discussion of ancient and medieval texts and
topics, also in collaboration with external colleagues.
Lessons will be in presence and
will be video recorded. The links for the videos will be uploaded
on the ELLY platform.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students' knowledge and understanding and learning skills, and their
abilities to apply them, will be verified in two ways:
1) in itinere: a written paper, in which students must measure themselves
with the philosophical and historical analysis of the classical text that is
indicated in bibliography. The written paper is intended to verify
students' historical and philosophical knowledge, their ability to apply the
acquired knowledge and understanding skills, and to write a paper in a
clear and documented way, logically rigorous and philosophically
argument-based. It will be evaluated according to four criteria: 1)
historical, philosophical, and historiographic knowledge reached by the
students; 2) clearness of the paper; 3) logical accuracy and critical
thinking; 4) ability to employ and assess philosophical arguments.
The written paper is a practice exercise and does not impact on the final
vote; it is however necessary for being admitted to the final exam.
2) Final exam: oral examination based upon the texts of the bibliographyand with the reading and the analysis of a philosophical text.
The final exam aims to verify the degree of preparation, knowledge and
understanding skills reached by the students. Average duration of
the exam is about 30 min. In particular, the oral exam aims to verify: 1)
students' degree of historical, philosophical and historiographic
knowledge; 2) students' ability to follow the development of a concept or
a doctrine in the same field and/or in related and interdisciplinary fields,
and to reconstruct a cultural context, with particular attention to the
interplay of the different positions therein involved; 3) students'
acquaintance with the philosophical vocabulary and, specifically, with the
terminology and concepts proper to the ancient and medieval philosophy;
4) students' ability to contextualize and analyze a philosophical text.
The final score (on scale 0-30) is the result of the final exam and will be
determinated by five criteria: 1) speech clarity and accuracy; 2)
argumentative skills; 3) ability to explain a concept or a doctrine,
historically and philosophically, and to make historical and philosophical
connections; 4) ability to read, understand and analyze a philosophical
text; 5) extent and degree of the historical and philosophical preparation,
reached on the basis of the texts indicated in bibliography.
The exam is passed if the minimum grade of 18/30 is reached. The final
mark will be awarded according to the following table:
30 and praise: excellent; extremely solid preparation and extensive
knowledge of ancient and medieval philosophy, excellent expressive
skills, complete and exhaustice ability of comprehension and analysis of
concepts, topics and/or arguments of ancient and medieval philosophy;
30: excellent; complete and adequate knowledge, excellent analysis
skills, correct and well articulated expression;
27-29: very good; more than satisfactory knowledge, adequate analysis
skills and essentially correct and articulate expression;
24-26: good; good but not complete knowledge, satisfactory analysis
skills and not always correct expression;
21-23: discrete; discrete albeit superficial knowledge, occasionally
unsatisfactory analysis skills and inappropriate expression;
18-20: sufficient; acceptable but very superficial knowledge,
unsatisfactory analysis skills, often inappropriate expression;
0-17: insufficient; the preparation has important gaps in terms of content,
lack of clarity in exposition, inability to understand and analyze concepts,
topics and/or arguments of ancient and medieval philosophy.

Other information

There will be two or three exams per session, in accordance to the public

It is also scheduled a pre-exam session during the mid-semester
suspension of lessons, to give to the students interested the opportunity of giving the exam of the part of the course on ancient philosophy. The date of the pre-exam will be given on the first lessons of the course.