History of political philosophy

A.Y. 2019/2020
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/06
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with a solid basic knowledge of the history of political philosophy. Students will acquire skills in textual and conceptual analysis. They will be able to place the classics of political philosophy in their historical and philosophical contexts. They will also be able to deal with the main historiographical interpretations, showing thereby that they have acquired good hermeneutic competences.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student:

- Understands the concepts and lines of argument used by the authors;
- Knows the fundamental aspects of the history of Western political philosophy from antiquity to the contemporary period (with special focus on the classics);
- Knows the fundamental lexicon of political philosophy in its historical development;
- Understands the relationships connecting the history of political philosophy to the history of scientific thought;
- Masters the basic methodological tools of the research in political philosophy.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student:

- Can apply the understanding of concepts and argumentative forms to the analysis of complex texts written by political philosophers;
- Can apply the knowledge acquired studying specific texts and authors to the historical understanding and philosophical contextualization of other works and thinkers;
- Can apply the political-philosophical lexicon to the analysis and discussion of contemporary problems;
- Can apply the understanding of the historical relationships between political philosophy and other forms of knowledge to the analysis and discussion of texts and problems;
- Can make use of basic methodological tools and bibliographic resources to the preparation of a scientific paper in the political-philosophical domain.
Course syllabus and organization

A

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Syllabus
Undefined
Unita' didattica A
Syllabus
Undefined
Unita' didattica B
Syllabus
Undefined
Unita' didattica C
Syllabus
Undefined
Unita' didattica A
Syllabus
Undefined
Unita' didattica B
Syllabus
Undefined
Unita' didattica C
Syllabus
Undefined
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours

B

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
1 Introduction to the fundamental concepts of political philosophy
Introduction to the fundamental concepts of political philosophy (natural law, contractualism, principles of legitimacy, justice, power, freedom) and reconstruction of the fundamental stages of the history of democracy in antiquity and modernity (democracy of the ancient and modern, direct democracy and representative democracy, formal and substantive democracy, extension of suffrage, birth of public opinion, theory of the elites).
2 Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
Reading and commentary of the most significant pages of Tocqueville's Democracy in America, with particular attention to the conception of homo democraticus, individualism and the notion of despotism. Democracy in America represents the first organic reflection on the functioning of democracy, on the social transformations it has produced and on the risks of degeneration.
3 Manipulation of public opinion: Le Bon and Bernays
Study of the first critical analyzes of the effects of the democratization process. Starting with the reading of the collective phenomena described by Le Bon in The psychology of the Crowds and then turning to an examination to Propaganda by Bernays, in which the first attempts to apply Le Bon's theories to manipulate public opinion are described

The course is aimed at students of the three-year Philosophy Course (Class L-5), European and non-European languages and literature (Class Lm-37). Passing the exam allows you to obtain 9 credits.
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is needed
Teaching methods
Lectures
Debate and discussion
Teaching Resources
Readings and assignments for attending students:
Assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:

1 S. Petrucciani, Modelli di filosofia politica, Torino, Einaudi, 2003.
2 B. Manin, Principi del governo rappresentativo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010.
3 You can choose one of the following editions of La democrazia in America:
- A. de Tocqueville, La democrazia in America, edited by di M. Tesini, 2 voll., Città Aperta Edizioni, Troina (Enna), 2005.
- A. de Tocqueville, La democrazia in America, edited by N. Matteucci, Torino, Utet, 2013.
The following chapters of La democrazia in America should be prepared in depth:
Book 1: Introduction; Part 1: Chapter 3; Part 2: Chapters 6, 7, 9.
Book Two: Foreword, Part One: Chapters 1, 3, 4, 15, 20; Part Two: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Part Three: 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 19, 21, 22; Part Four: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:
4 G. Le Bon, Psicologia delle folle, Milano, TEA, 2004.
5 E. Bernays, Propaganda, Milano, Lupetti, 2018.


Readings and assignments for non-attending students:
Assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:

1 S. Petrucciani, Modelli di filosofia politica, Torino, Einaudi, 2003;
2 B. Manin, Principi del governo rappresentativo, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2010.
3 You can choose one of the following editions of La democrazia in America:
- A. de Tocqueville, La democrazia in America, edited by di M. Tesini, 2 voll., Città Aperta Edizioni, Troina (Enna), 2005.
- A. de Tocqueville, La democrazia in America, edited by N. Matteucci, Torino, Utet, 2013.
The following chapters of La democrazia in America should be prepared in depth:
Book 1: Introduction; Part 1: Chapter 3; Part 2: Chapters 6, 7, 9.
Book Two: Foreword, Part One: Chapters 1, 3, 4, 15, 20; Part Two: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Part Three: 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 17, 19, 21, 22; Part Four: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:

4 G. Le Bon, Psicologia delle folle, Milano, TEA, 2004.
5 E. Bernays, Propaganda, Milano, Lupetti, 2018.
6 One text of your choice:
A. Mucchi Faina, Psicologia collettiva, Roma, Carocci, 2008.
M. Nacci, Lo sguardo della folla, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2019.
M. Simonazzi, Degenerazionismo. Psichiatria, eugenetica e biopolitica, Milano, Bruno Mondadori, 2013.

Slides and other digital resources available on e-learning course: https://msimonazzisfp.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral: The oral exam consists of an interview on the topics and texts included in the program, aimed at ascertaining the acquisition of the fundamental concepts of political philosophy and the historical development of the debate on democracy. Furthermore, the student will have to demonstrate an ability to read, comment on and contextualize two classics of political philosophy: Tocqueville's Democracy in America and Le Bon's Psychology of the Crowds.
Written: Only and exclusively for attending students there will be an optional written test, which will take place during the final weeks of the course, and which will focus on Petrucciani's Modelli di filosofia politica. In this test the student must demonstrate a knowledge of the fundamental concepts of political philosophy, the main models of political philosophy and the most relevant authors. Those who pass the written test will only be required to take the oral exam only on the texts indicated in points 2,3,4,5.
Non-attending students will have to prepare the supplementary texts indicated in the program to replace the contents of the lessons.
Remember that those who intend to "biennalizzare" the exam, and therefore have already supported History of Political Philosophy A or History of Political Philosophy B, are required to contact the professor to agree the examination program.

Evaluation criteria:
- knowledge of the history of political philosophy and political theory (exposition);
- ability to exemplify concepts (understanding);
- autonomy of judgement, capacity of use and apply concepts (development);
- communication skills and the adequacy of language.
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/06 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
Office hours: Thursday, 4.30 pm-7.30 pm via Teams, with prior appointment by email.