History of medieval philosophy

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/08
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to provide students, through the study of relevant authors and problems, with a general understanding of the history of medieval thought and its contribution to the development of ideas, argumentative forms and philosophical and scientific lexicon. The course also aims to provide students with the cognitive tools that allow them to read critically and comment autonomously on a philosophical text.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding

At the end of the course, the student

- knows the fundamental aspects of the history of Western medieval thought, learning to orient oneself in the historical context, in the traditions, in the problems and in the terminology of a decisive phase of the development of the history of philosophy
- knows the fundamental philosophical lexicon, the literary genres, the argumentative forms of medieval thought
- knows the basic methodological tools of research in the history of philosophy
- understands the relationships connecting the history of Western medieval philosophy to the history of scientific thought, to political history, to society and to theological and religious tradition.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding

At the end of the study path, the student

- can apply the knowledge acquired in the historical context of the authors and texts
- is able to apply the knowledge acquired in vocabulary, argumentation and text analysis to the analysis and interpretation of other texts
- can apply the basic knowledge and reading methods learned in class to other philosophical texts.
Course syllabus and organization

(A)

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
At the moment, it is planned to hold one of the 3 weekly lessons (on Tuesday) in a classroom, with contextual videolesson on the Teams platform for those who will not be able or will not want to come to the University. The other two lessons will be held online, always on Teams. All lessons will be recorded and made available on the same platform.
Course syllabus
"Everything in its place: the fear of disorder in medieval philosophical culture".
- General introduction: the gradual exit from the «age of distress». Divine omnipotence and providential order of the cosmos in Aurelius Augustine and Severinus Boethius
- In search of the rules of nature. The school of Chartres
- Sacredness of obedience in a strictly hierarchical society.

The course is recommended for students in the 2nd year of Philosophy but can also be followed by their colleagues enrolled in other years and, more generally, it is open to all degree courses that include the possibility of choosing the History of Medieval Philosophy exam for 9 or 6 cfu. In particular: Letters (Class L-10, for those enrolled from academic year 2011-12), Philology, Literature and History of Antiquity (Class LM-15, for those enrolled from academic year 2011-12).
The split between History of Medieval Philosophy A and B does not imply the obligation for students to divide according to the initial of the surname: students can freely choose which course to take according to their interests and the semester in which it takes place. Students who bring the program of 6 credits are required to prepare Unit A and a second one, according to what during the course has attracted their attention most.
No additional teaching activities or exercises are foreseen.
Prerequisites for admission
No specific requirements, other than those required for access to the Course of Study
Teaching methods
Lectures
Teaching Resources
Joint examination program for 6 and 9 cfu examinations:

1.1. In order to acquire an adequate knowledge of the development of medieval thought and of the context in which the theme of the course is placed, all students are required to use one of the following tools:

- La filosofia nel Medioevo, in Filosofia cultura cittadinanza, ed. by A. La Vergata-F. Trabattoni, vol. 1, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 2011, pp. 438-590;
- Il Medioevo, in Filosofia e cultura, ed. by A. La Vergata-F. Trabattoni, vol. 1, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 2007, pp. 454-481 e pp. 516-689.

1.2. Aurelio Agostino, De ordine, in Tutti i dialoghi, Milano, Bompiani, pagine scelte (pp. 309-321, 325-335, 343-351, 363-365, 381-389, 397-497, 413-417, 421-431 e 435-445; pp. 853-855 e p. 1591: all available on Ariel); Aurelio Agostino, La città di Dio, Milano, Rusconi, pagine scelte (pp. 91-99, 299-303, 537-545 e 1065-1079: all available on Ariel);
1.3. Severino Boezio, La consolazione della filosofia, Milano, Rizzoli, pagine scelte (pp. 95-105, 223-231, 251-257, 267-283, 291-295 e 305-327: all available on Ariel);
1.4. Maria Bettetini, La misura delle cose: struttura e modelli dell'universo secondo Agostino d'Ippona, Milano, Rusconi, pp. 71-124 (available on Ariel).

2.1. Pier Damiani, De divina omnipotentia, 0Firenze, Vallecchi, 1943, pp. 71-95 e 109-133 (available on Ariel);
2.2. Guglielmo di Conches, La filosofia del mondo, in Il divino e il megacosmo. Testi filosofici e scientifici della scuola di Chartres, Milano, Rusconi, 1980, pp. 210-215 e 222-239; Bernardo Silvestre, Cosmografia, in Il divino e il megacosmo, cit., pp. 462-474 (all available on Ariel);
2.3. Tullio Gregory, L'idea di natura nella filosofia medievale prima dell'ingresso della fisica di Aristotele: il secolo XII, in T. Gregory, Mundana sapientia, Roma, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1992, pp. 77-114 (available on Ariel).

Additional readings and assignments for non-attending students (all available on Ariel):

1.5. Henry Chadwick, Boezio, Bologna, Il Mulino, pp. 283-306;
2.4. T. Gregory, Anima mundi. La filosofia di Guglielmo di Conches e la scuola di Chartres, Firenze, Sansoni, 1955, selected pages.

Additional part for the 9 cfu program:

3.1 Giovanni di Salisbury, Policraticus, in Policraticus: l'uomo di governo nel pensiero medievale, Milano, Jaca Book, 1984, pp. 203-209, 239-241, 251-256 e 265-273 (available on Ariel);
3.2 Tommaso d'Aquino, De regno ad regem Cypri, in Opuscoli politici, Bologna, ESD, 1997, selected pages (pp. 31-45, 49-57, 73-78, 82-87: available on Ariel);
3.3 Claudio Fiocchi, Mala potestas. La tirannia nel pensiero politico medioevale, Bergamo, Lubrina, 2004, pp. 35-61 e 66-87 (available on Ariel).

Additional reading for non-attending students (also available on Ariel):


3.4. Mt. Fumagalli Beonio Brocchieri (ed.), Pensare il medioevo, Milano, Mondadori Università, 2007, pp. 129-156.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final examination consists of a 30 minutes oral exam, whose purpose is to test the knowledge and skills acquired by students. The grading system for the final exam is based on a 0-30 scale, 18 being the lowest passing mark. Evaluation criteria:
- knowledge of the handbook, of the texts and of the essays examined during the course (knowledge);
- ability to understand concepts and arguments (understanding)
- ability to critically evaluate different interpretations of texts and historical problems (development);
- use of language (exposition).
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/08 - HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/08 - HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/08 - HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours

(B)

Lesson period
Second semester
During the ongoing covid emergency, the course syllabus will be maintained with the following changes made to enhance the effectiveness of the online version of the course, which was originally designed for face-to-face teaching.
Online environments used:
Ariel: https://lbianchisfma.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/home/Default.aspx
MSTeams: code available on Ariel.

Teaching methods:
Classes will be held according to the following risk scenarios:
- maximum severity (red zone): classes will be held only remotely in synchronous mode (using MSTeams);
- high severity (orange zone): lessons will be held in mixed mode, partly in person and partly online. The face-to-face lessons will allow the participation of students connected with MSTeams as well as students in the classroom. Online lessons will be held synchronously (using MSTeams);
- severity (yellow zone): classes will be held according with the orange zone guidelines and, if conditions allow, the number of lessons on campus will be increased.
The calendar of in person lessons and updates will be published on the online course platform.

Learning assessment procedures and evaluation criteria:
The exam is oral and is held on MSTeams in any emergency situation, whether yellow, orange or red zone, in compliance with the guidelines provided by the University. The online course on MSTeams will make available constantly updated details about the oral examination sessions that will be held over several days.
Students wishing to participate in face-to-face lessons must refer to the following University provisions: https://www.unimi.it/it/studiare/frequentare-un-corso-di-laurea/seguire….
Students wishing to participate in MSTeams lessons must refer to the following technical guides: https://www.unimi.it/it/studiare/servizi-gli-studenti/servizi-tecnologi….
To participate in the exam sessions, students must refer to the following provisions: https://www.unimi.it/it/studiare/frequentare-un-corso-di-laurea/seguire….
Course syllabus
This is the B edition of the course on History of medieval philospphy, which ai also taught in the first semester (edition A) by professor Stefano Simonetta.
This course is recommended for students attending the second year of the Philosophy course and to all students of other courses of the University of Milan who are interested in medieval philosophy (6 and 9 ECTS).
It aims at providing
1. an introduction to the most important philosophical traditions and major figures of medieval thought
2. a thorough reading of the Decisive treatise where Averroes discusses the relationship between philosophy and religion. Some texts authored by Siger of Brabant and Boethius of Dacia will be then examined in order to show that the so called 'Latin Averroists' - who did not have access to Averroes' Treatise - explored this issue in different terms, especially because they worked in a context where the teaching of both philosophy and theology assumed institutionalized forms unknown in Islamic culture

The split between History of Medieval Philosophy A and B does not imply the obligation for students to divide according to the initial of the surname: students can freely choose which course to take according to their interests and the semester in which it takes place. No additional teaching activities or exercises are foreseen.
Prerequisites for admission
There are no prerequisites
Teaching methods
Lectures and debates.
Teaching Resources
The readings preceded by ** will be made available on Ariel.


Readings and assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:

1. One of the following handbooks
- La filosofia nel Medioevo, in Filosofia cultura cittadinanza, a cura di A. La Vergata-F. Trabattoni, vol. 1, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 2011, pp. 438-590;
- Il Medioevo, in Filosofia e cultura, a cura di A. La Vergata-F. Trabattoni, vol. 1, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 2007, pp. 454-481 e pp. 516-689.

The use of other high school or university level handbooks must be agreed in advance with the teacher.

2. Averroè, Il trattato decisivo sull'accordo della religione con la filosofia, a cura di M. Campanini, BUR, Milano 1994.

3. Matteo Di Giovanni, Averroè, Carocci, Roma 2017, pp. 9-118.

Additional readings and assignments for 9 ECTS exam:

Boethius of Dacia, Sull'eternità del mondo in: Boezio di Dacia, Sull'eternità del mondo, Sui sogni, Sul sommo bene, a cura di Luca Bianchi, La vita felice, Milano 2017, pp. 89-105 e 119-123;

** Siger of Brabant, Anima dell'uomo, Bompiani, a cura di A. Petagine, Bompiani, Milano 2007, pp. 85-93;

one among the following articles:

** A. Maier, "Il principio della doppia verità", in Id., Scienza e filosofia nel medioevo, Jaka Book, Milano 1984, pp. 385-430;

** A. Petagine, "Il De unitate intellectus di Tommaso d'Aquino e la 'doppia verità', B@belonline/print, 9, 2011, pp. 89-100;

** R.C. Taylor, « 'Truth Does Not Contradict Truth': Averroes and the Unity of Truth », Topoi 19, 2000, pp. 3-16;

** L. Bianchi, "From Pope Urban VIII to Bishop Étienne Tempier: the Strange History of the Doctrine of 'Double Truth'", Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 64, 2017, pp. 9-26.

Additional readings and assignments for non-attending students

1. ** L. Bianchi, "L'acculturazione filosofica dell'Occidente" e "Le università e il 'decollo scientifico' dell'Occidente" in La filosofia nelle Università: secoli XIII-XIV, a cura di L. Bianchi, La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1997, pp. 1-61.

2. Boezio di Dacia, Sull'eternità del mondo, Sui sogni, Sul sommo bene, a cura di Luca Bianchi, La vita felice, Milano 2017, pp. 9-70.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final examination consists of an oral exam, whose purpose is to test the knowledge and skills acquired by students. The grading system for the final exam is based on a 0-30 scale, 18 being the lowest passing mark.
Evaluation criteria:
- knowledge of the handbook, of the texts and of the essays examined during the course (knowledge);
- ability to understand concepts and arguments (understanding)
- ability to critically evaluate different interpretations of texts and historical problems (development);
- use of language (exposition).

Non-attending students will not be examined on topics discussed exclusively during the lessons.
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/08 - HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/08 - HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/08 - HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)
Reception:
every Friday morning, from 10 am to 1 pm
Department of Philosophy, first floor (or on Teams or Skype)