A first goal of this workshop is to develop the student's skills in reading and analyzing ancient philosophical texts, with a focus on Aristotle.
A second, related, goal is to consolidate the student's ability to communicate the knowledge acquired with a focus on the study of life.
A final goal is to introduce the student to texts and topics in ancient philosophy.
Expected learning outcomes
The workshop aims to develop the following skills:
Critical thinking skills: By the end of the workshop, students will display a sufficiently independent critical approach in selecting and interpreting the notions that are most relevant their area of study and to the broader socio-cultural context in which they operate
Communication skills: By the end of the workshop: - students will be able to effectively communicate the acquired knowledge and disseminate it to the general public; - student will have developed basic IT skills concerning knowledge preservation and transfer.
Learning skills: By the end of the workshop, students will have developed the learning skills required to continue their studies in keeping with their own research interests. In order to meet this objective, students will also develop relevant skills in the independent interpretation of sources and in the use of basic IT tool for bibliographic research.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
There was nothing even remotely close to a systematic attempt to study life before Aristotle. Put differently (and more boldly), Aristotle invented biology.
A first goal of this laboratory is to offer an introduction to Aristotle's biology. A second goal is to explore the systematic connections between theory and practice of science in Aristotle's thought.
Exploring these connections has emerged as an important concern in recent years. On the one hand, we can use the theory of science outlined in the Posterior Analytics to shed lights on some of the key moves that Aristotle makes in the course of his investigation of life. On the other hand, we can use this investigation to illuminate the theory of the Posterior Analytics, which is notoriously difficult and abstract.
By attending this workshop the student is entitled to 3 ECTS. The workshop is open to all students of the Master degree in Philosophical Sciences.
Prerequisites for admission
English is the language of instruction.
Oral presentation and discussion. The student is required to read the assigned texts in advance.
The Complete Works of Aristotle. The Revised Oxford Translation. Edited by Jonathan Barnes. 2 vols.
A. Falcon, "Aristotle's Study of Animals in Context: The Peripatetic Study of Life Reconsidered," in P. König and J. I. Lindén (eds.), Aristoteles, Antike Kontexte, Gegenwärtige Perspektiven. Heidelberger Forschungen. Heidelberg 2019: 185-202.
A. Falcon and D. Lefebvre (eds.), Aristotle's Generation of Animals: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press 2018.
A. Gotthelf, Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology. Oxford University Press 2012.
A. Gotthelf and J. G. Lennox, Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology. Cambridge University Press 1987.
J. G. Lennox, Aristotle's Philosophy of Biology. Studies in the Origins of Life Science. Cambridge University Press 2001.
Assessement methods and criteria
In order to pass this class the student will present in class on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The presentation will be in English and will last approximately 15 minutes. The student will submit a revised version of their presentation in the form of a short paper (maximum 1,500 words). The student will not receive a specific grade for this workshop (pass/fail only). Attendance is mandatory.