Theories of Equality and Rights

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
IUS/20 SPS/01
Learning objectives
The course has two learning objectives.
The first objective is to introduce students to the philosophical analysis of the different meanings and functions that references to equality have in legal and political discourses, of the links between equality, justice and fundamental rights, and of the relation between the promotion of equality and the recognition of differences.
The second objective is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of how ideas of equality, justice and fundamental rights have been and are today declined within the theoretical reflection and the legal and political action and claims of feminism and of other emancipatory social movements.
The course is part of the multidisciplinary programme on Rights, labour and equal opportunities (Diritti, lavoro e pari opportunità - DiLPO).
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course students should have acquired:
- knowledge and understanding of the philosophical analysis of the idea of equality in its different declinations (of status, rights, treatment, opportunity, results), of the relation between equality and differences of sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, opinion, capabilities, and of the problems concerning the promotions of equality in society;
- knowledge and understanding of the different phases of the development of feminist thought, of the main steps in the process that has resulted in the inclusion of women among rights-holders, of how that process has led to a revision of the very ideas of fundamental rights and equality, and of the problematic relation between equality and citizenship;
- capability to apply acquired knowledge to the analysis and discussion of public controversies about legislation and social policies aimed at promoting equality and implementing fundamental rights, paying special attention to the rights of women and of sexual and cultural minorities.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First trimester
Prerequisites for admission
Lectures will be given in Italian and attending students will be required to read texts and participate to class discussion in that language.
Students who don't have the knowledge of the Italian language necessary to take part to these activities could take the exam in English as non-attending students. A bibliography in English will be provided.
No other preliminary knowledge is required.
Teaching methods
The teaching activities will include lectures and class discussion. The standard language for both activities will be Italian. Students who don't have the knowledge of the Italian language necessary to attend classes with profit, could take the exam in English as non-attending students.
For the final exam, non-attending students should prepare the texts listed in the Bibliography (see section below).
Assessment methods and Criteria
Students who don't have the knowledge of the Italian language necessary to attend classes with profit, could take the exam in English as non-attending students.
The final exam will consist in a mandatory written test and in an optional oral test. The written test will be structured in eight open-ended questions (four for each unit) on the assigned texts (see Bibliography, below). Each answer will be given a mark from 6 to 30 (missing and completely wrong answers will get a 6) and the final mark will result from the arithmetic average of all marks. Students will have two hours to complete the written test. The oral test, that the students can choose either to take or not after receiving the result of the written test, will start from a discussion of the written test and could change its result of a maximum of two marks, for better or for worse. For students who choose not to take the oral test, the final mark for the exam will be the mark of the written test.
Being Italian the standard language for the course, students who want to take the exam in English should inform the teachers by email a few days before the date of the exam.
IUS/20 - PHILOSOPHY OF LAW - University credits: 3
SPS/01 - POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 40 hours
Office hours are on Tuesday afternoon. The professor should be contacted by email in order to make an appointment through Microsoft Teams or on campus.