History of Ancient Philosophy (p)
Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
M-FIL/07 - HISTORY OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Language of instruction
Primo semestre dal Oct 4, 2010 al Jan 22, 2011.
Beyond offering a general picture of authors and schools within the ancient philosophy, the course aims at teaching to use the proper philosophical terminology. Also it aims at teaching the critical use of an original philosophical text, for acquiring basic philosophical matters and concepts.
Prerequisites: Surely a previous knowledge of the history of the ancient philosophy (from VI Century B.C. to 529 A.D.) allows to work easier within this scientific field: however it is not compulsory. The same can be said as to the ancient Greek and Latin languages. Better, an attention to lexical research and an interest in a critical reading of philosophical texts are very useful.
Programme: Title: “Eudaimonìa: the happiness of the Ancients”
We aim at exploring the ancient concept of happiness (eudaimonìa): starting from the dependence of man on the quirks of Gods or of Fate in Homer’s poems and in tragedies, through Democritus’ notion of peace of mind (euthymìa), to Socrates and his philosophical enhancement of happiness as consciousness and practice of our authentic self (psychè). Going on Plato and his identification of virtue and happiness and his seeing the philosopher as a guarantor of happiness in the pòlis. Lingering over Aristotle and his notion of happiness as practice of man’s èrgon (typical activity), over the virtuous happiness of the wise man, over philautìa (reflexive love), over friendship and the happiness proper to contemplation. Finally taking into consideration the notion of happiness by Diogenes of Synope and by the Cirenaic school.
a) General part: E. BERTI, Storia della filosofia: Antichità e Medioevo, Roma-Bari 1991 (ed edizioni successive), Capp. I-VIII (anyway to the Neoplatonism included);
b) critical text: F. DE LUISE – G. FARINETTI, Storia della felicità. Gli antichi e i moderni, Torino, Einaudi PBE 2001, pp. XI-106
c) photocopies of original texts, placed at students’ disposal.
Teaching methods: The course will be carried on by frontal lessons, with an introductory presentation of thinkers and philosophical schools, with direct reading of the texts on the monographical subject and following discussions. Therefore attendance at classes will be very useful and desirable, though obviously not compulsory.
The same program is valid for the students who cannot attend lessons; nevertheless, they must get in touch with the teacher, in order to receive indications on adding texts, whose reading will compensate for lacking attendance: these texts will be agreed for every student, with regard to his previous knowledge, curriculum and interests.
Some oral questions will be put to the student; he will be invited to read and comment some passages of the original texts already read together during classes. As to the basic texts of the course, the student can choose also to write a brief paper (5-10 pp., to be given at least one week before the exam) on some subjects discussed together, or on some passages read together during classes: this relation will be orally discussed during the exam.