Teaching workshop:

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The Laboratory aims to provide students with knowledge about a very complex issue such as the "consciousness", offering a broad overview which starts from the most recent neuroscientific discoveries to transcendental perspectives and philosophies, passing through artistic and aesthetic theories. Therefore, the laboratory transmits the knowledge, the main theories, the epistemological and methodological elements, and the essential bibliographic tools, necessary to understand and examine the theme of consciousness in all its facets. The ultimate goal of the laboratory is to relate scientific and philosophical theories to one's experience as conscious human being.
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.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The Laboratory aims to analyze the topic of "consciousness" in its various steps and functions. It is clear that consciousness is always awareness of something: can we then say that there is the consciousness of a dream? What about the body consciousness in deep sleep? How is consciousness exercised in some animals, given that many knowledge about humans are indirectly collected by experiences on monkeys and in some cases, even on cephalopods?
It is practically impossible to define 'consciousness': the term can be indentify with that particular capacity of the mind to perceive the external world or its interiority, and to interact with both.
In fact, the word derives from the Latin word 'conscientia', derivative of conscire, that is "to be aware, to know together" (compound by cum and scire, "to know") and indicates the attention given to the objects of the world, but also the awareness that people have innerly mental states. In ancient Greek, συνείδησις syneídēsis, expresses the faculty of linking ideas together (συν = with -είδησις = intelligence, notion).
The topics covered by the seminar will be the following:
· The epochal turning point in modern neurolog: the "Imaging" of consciousness.
· When is the idea of ​​'soul' born?
1. Processes and organs of consciousness in Homer's Greece
2. The discovery of the soul in Greek philosophy (Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics)
3. Consciousness in the age of Enlightenment (from Schelling and Goethe to Hegel)
· The mind-body enigma: an insoluble problem?
· The early twentieth century: expressing the invisible: the colors of the soul.
· Body consciousness: the language of octopuses and baboons.
· Brentano, Husserl, Searle - Consciousness is an intentional movement.
· Innate and acquired: the formation of conscience.
· Hardware and Software: have we learned to think from machines?
· Damasio, Panksepp, Rizzolatti: nuclear consciousness and extended consciousness.
· Consciousness as a subjective experience: the psychoanalysis.
· Phenomenology: Husserl, Scheler, Stein. Is it possible to observe consciousness from within?
· Rudolf Steiner, The Philosophy of Freedom. -
· Presentations of group work
Prerequisites for admission
Teaching methods
· Frontal lessons
· Classroom discussions
· teamwork
Teaching Resources
· Solms, Mark and Turnbull, Oliver (2002), The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience, LONDON, Routledge
· Panksepp, Jaak and Biven, L. (2012). The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotion, New York: Norton & Company
· Godfrey-Smith, Peter (2016), Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
· Phénoménologie de l'esprit professées de 1933 à 1939 à l'École des Hautes Études, Paris: Gallimard
· Rudolf Steiner (1894), Die Philosophie der Freiheit. Grundzüge einer modernen Weltanschauung
po del Senso dell'Io altrui.
Assessment methods and Criteria
- teamwork report on a topic previously decided with the teacher
- digital presentation (ppt etc.) of the teamwork report during the lessons
- University credits: 3
Humanities workshops: 20 hours
Professor: Gobo Giampietro
every Wednesday from 5pm to 8pm: contact giampietro.gobo@unimi.it for an online colloquium, via Microsoft Teams
online, on Microsoft Teams