Italian (or English, in case there is a significant presence of foreign students).
The course aims to introduce the students to the study of fundamental philosophical texts and issues from classical antiquity, considered with respect to their historical genesis and fortune as well as to their conceptual substance.
- P. Donini, La Metafisica di Aristotele. Introduzione alla lettura (Carocci).
- M. Vegetti, F. Ademollo, Incontro con Aristotele (Einaudi).
- R. Chiaradonna, P. Pecere, Filosofia. la ricerca della conoscenza (Mondadori Scuola), vols 1A + 1B (up to Unit 6, ch. 1, § 2 – Plotino e il suo platonismo – included).
- T. Irwin, Classical Philosophy (Oxford UP).
- P. Casalegno, Brevissima introduzione alla filosofia del linguaggio (Carocci).
- S. Soames, Philosophy of Language (Princeton UP).
- S. Mumford, Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP).
- J. Nagel, Knowledge: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP).
Further and more precise bibliographical directions will be provided during the course. Such directions will also concern the choice of the handbook (or handbooks) which is most suitable for each student, depending on their background and interests.
- Knowledge and understanding: students will learn the main aspects and implications of the ancient philosophical doctrines which are the subject matter of the course.
- Applied knowledge and understanding: students will strengthen and develop further (in relation to the achievements of the three-year degree course) their general capacity to compare and assess different interpretations of a philosophical text or solutions to a philosophical problem, also by making use of pertinent bibliographical resources.
- Communication skills: students will strengthen and develop further their ability to understand and use appropriately a technical terminology and illustrate clearly and precisely the meaning of a philosophical text or a philosophical problem.
- Making judgements: students will strengthen and develop further their ability to make informed critical decisions between different interpretations of a philosophical text or solutions to a philosophical problem. Thus ability will now have to be applied to texts and problems more complex and difficult than those encountered previously.
- Learning skills: students will acquire the learning skill which is necessary for them to carry on autonomously their studies in this field.
Previous acquaintance with ancient philosophy.
Lectures; oral presentations by students; discussion; written papers.
Students will be required to consult bibliography in English.
Type of Assessment
- 4 points out of 30 are assigned to a written paper on a subject and bibliography to be agreed upon with the lecturer. At least some of the papers will be presented orally in class in a provisional form; all will have to be submitted in written form one week before the final oral examination. Marks vary from 1 (= acceptable) to 4 (= excellent). If the paper is assessed as not acceptable no mark is assigned and the student cannot proceed to the oral examination.
- 26 points out of 30 are assigned to the oral examination, which lasts for approximately 30-40 minutes. Students who achieve the total mark of 30/30 are eligible for honours.
The oral presentation, the written paper and the final oral examination will aim to ascertain whether and to what extent the course's various learning objectives (see ‘Learning Objectives') have been achieved. All objectives will have to be achieved at least to an acceptable degree for the student to pass the examination. During the oral examination students may be requested to expound or compare the philosophical theses encountered during the course, or to comment on texts included within (or akin to) those encountered, in order to analyse their contents and argumentative structure.
In order to take the examination students will have to be present on the day and at the time fixed for the examination or notify their delay within two hours.
Aristotle, Metaphysics, book A. We shall see how Aristotle introduces his conception of theoretical ‘wisdom', or knowledge of the first causes, through a critique of the views of his predecessors.
Students shall also study one or more handbooks (see Bibliography).