Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
II semestre (Lingue e letterature straniere) dal Feb 14, 2022 al May 28, 2022.
The course aims to provide an introduction to the history of philosophy and its terminology, whereas special attention will be paid to the birth of philosophy in Ancient Greece and its (early-)modern developments, which occurred simultaneously with the establishment of vernacular languages. The main focus will be on fostering a critical approach to the most important texts, which will be dealt with from an interdisciplinary perspective open particularly to literature. At the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate the attainment of the following learning objectives:
- Knowledge: 1) Knowledge and understanding of the philosophical contexts of the past (historical-cultural contexts, philosophical traditions), with special attention being given to ancient and (early-)modern philosophy; 2) Knowledge and understanding of the theories developed by the major authors of the history of philosophy, with special attention being given to ancient and (early-)modern philosophy, and the relationship between philosophy and literature; 3) Knowledge and understanding of the philosophical lexicon, its developments in the different contexts of vernacular languages and the relevant translation practices.
- Skills: 1) Applying knowledge and understanding to the critical reading of and commentary on philosophical texts; this should be demonstrated by the mastery of an appropriate vocabulary; 2) Making autonomous judgments and engaging in independent reasoning; 3) Developing communication skills, also according to the recipient, in the following areas: participating in guided discussions, explaining ideas and defending these through arguments, and possibly delivering short presentations; 4) Enacting autonomous learning skills through the development of an appropriate study and interpretation methodology in relation to both texts and contexts; 5) Developing the ability to connect study outcomes with personal experience, the specific curriculum chosen and today’s world, wherein particular attention will be paid to ability to differentiate between historical circumstances and contexts, as well as to draw comparisons, both methodological and thematic, between philosophy and literature.
COURSE CONTENT: Philosophy and Literature in Dialogue: Ancient Greek Thought and German Philosophy.
The course aims to provide an introduction to the history of philosophy and its terminology, whereas special attention will be paid to its relation with literature. To this end, the main focus will be on two moments in Western thought, in which the interaction between philosophy and literature plays a crucial role, i.e., ancient Greek thought and the German Enlightenment. The interdisciplinary nature of the course will lead to address issues regarding rhetorical strategies, linguistic choices and literary genres, and will enable us to compare works, which are traditionally considered as belonging to different canons.
The course will be structured as follows:
1) Introduction to philosophy: etymology and meaning of the expression, historical genesis and periodization, main definitions delivered in the Western tradition;
2) Ancient Greek thought: poetry at the origin of philosophy (Homer, Hesiod, archaic Lyric poets, Presocratics), the ambivalent contribution of Plato (criticism of poetry and parallel usage of literary devices such as dialogue and myth), theatre as a special medium of philosophy (Tragedians, Aristotle);
3) German philosophy: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) and Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805): education, main interests, literary and philosophical works, rhetorical strategies.
TEACHING METHODS: The modality of course delivery will depend on the University’s measures against COVID-19. The course will consist of lectures as well as, if possible, discussions guided by the professor and short (optional) papers given by students on topics previously agreed on. The plurality of teaching methods is conceived of as a way of helping students, who will be offered as wide a range of learning paths as possible with a view to enabling them to attain, either face to face or in the context of distance education, both the knowledge- and the skills-related learning outcomes outlined above. Also non-attending students can prepare a short essay.
MANDATORY READING FOR BOTH ATTENDING AND NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS:
1) Learning materials published on e-learning;
2) One option among the following:
a) G. E. Lessing, Gli ebrei, ed. by A. Jori, Preface by J. Limbach, Afterword by K.-J. Kuschel, Bompiani, Milano 2002 + N. Merker, Introduzione a Lessing, Laterza, Roma – Bari 1991;
b) F. Schiller, I masnadieri, ed. by M. D. Ponti, transl. by B. Allason, Einaudi, Torino 1969 (or other reprint) or in F. Schiller, I Masnadieri Don Carlos Maria Stuarda, ed. by E. Groppali, Garzanti, Milano 2000 (1991), pp. 1-167 + G. Pinna, Introduzione a Schiller, Laterza, Roma – Bari 2012.
FURTHER READING (OPTIONAL):
1) E. Berti, Che effetto fa la poesia?, in E. Berti, In principio era la meraviglia. Le grandi questioni della filosofia antica, Laterza, Roma – Bari 2007, pp. 217-240 (or other reprint);
2) L. A. Macor, L’illuminismo di Lessing: non solo “Selbstdenken”, in Traiettorie di pensiero. Prospettive storico-teoretiche di riflessione e ricerca, ed. by D. Poggi, QuiEdit, Verona 2020, pp. 49-66;
3) L. A. Macor, Il giro fangoso dell’umana destinazione. Friedrich Schiller dall’illuminismo al criticismo, ETS, Pisa 2008;
4) L. A. Macor, The Bankruptcy of Love: Schiller’s Early Ethics, in Publications of the English Goethe Society 86 (2017), 1, pp. 29-41.
LEARNING MATERIALS: Additional learning materials will be published on e-learning.
Visualizza la bibliografia con Leganto, strumento che il Sistema Bibliotecario mette a disposizione per recuperare i testi in programma d'esame in modo semplice e innovativo.
Oral exam (face to face or online depending on the University’s measures against COVID-19) + optional short paper.
The exam aims to assess the attainment of the course’s learning outcomes, and this will be addressed as follows:
1) presentation of one or more topics dealt with in the first two parts of the course (Introduction to philosophy and Ancient Greek thought): students will have to demonstrate possession of basic facts and notions, showing ability to explain them in a systematic manner and follow their diachronic development–this will be achieved by either replying to an open question or commenting on a text figuring among those read and discussed in class (and published online on e-learning, cf. 1 of the Mandatory reading);
2) presentation of one or more philosophical issues arising in the work of Lessing or Schiller chosen (cf. 2 of the Mandatory reading), possibly profiting from the relevant introductory book: students will have to demonstrate understanding of the relevant philosophical theses, knowledge of the historical context and, lastly, awareness of the philosophical implications of the literary medium.
Each part of the exam has equal weighting, i.e., 1/2 of the final mark. Students who will have presented an optional short paper will be exempt from the part of the exam corresponding to the nature of the work already done (depending on whether it addressed topics of the first two parts or the third part of the course). The paper’s assessment will contribute a half of the final total.
No distinction will be made between attending and non-attending students.