History of political philosophy

A.Y. 2020/2021
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
First semester
Teaching methods
For the duration of the health emergency, the lessons in attendance will be replaced by two complementary modes of telematic teaching, synchronous and asynchronous. Two lessons per week will take place in synchronous mode on the Teams platform (on the Ariel "Bacheca" you can find all the information on how to participate in the lessons: https://msimonazzisfp.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/home/Default.aspx), while one lesson per week will be replaced by loading audio ppt on the Ariel platform. If sanitary conditions will allow it, at the end of each unit some lessons will be held in presence. However, it will always be possible to follow the lessons that take place in the classroom on the Teams platform. The calendar of all synchronous and asynchronous lessons will be communicated during the lessons and will be published on Ariel.
All lessons will be recorded and, together with the ppt with audio, will be uploaded to Ariel and will remain available throughout the academic year.

Reference Materials:
The program and reference material will not be changed.

Learning verification mode:
The exam will take place in oral form using the Microsoft Teams platform. The exam calendar and instructions for taking part in the exam can also be found on the Ariel platform's "Bacheca" (https://msimonazzisfp.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/v5/home/Default.aspx). Obviously, in case health conditions allow it, the exam will take place in presence.
Course syllabus
Democracy and Postdemocracy: Concepts, Institutions and Ideologies
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 From the democracy of the ancients to the democracy of the moderns
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 Post-democracy, post-truth and populism
We will analyze the effects produced by the economic, institutional and communicative transformations of recent years on democratic dynamics. In particular, we will consider the notions of post-democracy, post-truth and populism.

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 and 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) 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: Chapter 7.
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 Four: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:
4) C. Crouch, Combattere la postdemocrazia, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2020.

5) One text to choose from:
- D. Palano, Bubble Democracy. La fine del pubblico e la nuova polarizzazione, Milano, Scholé, 2020.
- N. Urbinati, Io, il popolo. Come il populismo trasforma la democrazia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020.
- B. Latour, Tracciare la rotta. Come orientarsi in politica, Milano, Cortina, 2018.
- J. Brennan, Contro la democrazia, Roma, Luiss, 2018.
- L. McIntyre, Post-verità, Torino, Utet, 2019.
- W. Davies, Stati nervosi. Come l'emotività ha conquistato il mondo, Torino, Einaudi, 2019.

Lessons are an integral part of the examination programme.

Slides and other digital resources available on e-learning course: https://msimonazzisfp.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/
Assessment methods and Criteria
The examination is oral and 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 a classic of political philosophy such as Tocqueville's Democracy in America. Lastly, the student must show that he or she is familiar with the current debate on post-democracy, post-truth and populism.
Non-attending students are required to download and listen to the recorded lectures and therefore no additional texts are provided.
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

(B)

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching methods

The lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed both synchronously based on the timetable and asynchronously because they will be recorded and left available to students on the Ariel platform.
If the overall health situation allows it, and in compliance with the regulations in force, there may be activities in presence in classroom, of which students will be appropriately informed through notices on the Ariel website.

Program and reference material

The program and reference material will not be changed.


Methods of learning verification and evaluation criteria

The examination will be conducted orally using the Microsoft Teams platform or, if the epidemiological situation and the regulations allow it, in attendance.
Course syllabus
Course title:
Self-consciousness and ethical life in Hegel's «Phenomenology of Spirit»
(60 hours - 9 CFU)

Course general presentation
The course aims, first of all, to introduce students to the key concepts of political philosophy and to present some significant moments of its historical development.
It intends, then, to focus on some essential aspects of Hegelian philosophy, as it is presented in his first major systematic work: the «Phenomenology of Spirit».


Course description:

1.1. Problems and fundamental concepts of political philosophy;
1.2. The key concepts of Hegelian philosophy, outlined in the "Introduction" and in the "Preface" of the "Phenomenology of Spirit":
reason and historical time; the knowledge of the Absolute; reason and the understanding of totality; the role of the negative; the moments of the dialectics: the negating and the preserving.

2. Hegel and the problem of self-consciousness:
life and its circular course; the paradoxes of desire; independence and dependence of self-consciousness: lordship and bondage; the search for recognition and the role of work; the freedom of self-consciousness.

3. The Spirit and its becoming:
The ethical world; human law and divine law; Antigone and its interpretations; the world of the Spirit alienated from itself: Culture and the Enlightenment; Absolute Freedom and Terror: Hegel interpreter of the French Revolution.

Please note:

1. The teacher is available to agree on partial changes to the exam programme, in response to a motivated request from the students, made during office hours.
2. Those who have already taken the History of Political Philosophy A or History of Political Philosophy B exam and intend to take it for the second time are required to contact the teacher to agree on the programme, in relation to their previous preparation and their research interests.
3. International students or incoming Erasmus students are invited to contact the teacher in charge of the course promptly.
Prerequisites for admission
The course requires some experience in reading classical philosophical texts and knowledge of the main lines of development of the history of modern and contemporary philosophy.
Teaching methods
The course will be taught by the teacher with lectures. At the end of each lecture, there will be a discussion of the problems faced and key concepts illustrated.
The lectures will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed both synchronously, based on the timetable, and asynchronously, because they will be recorded and left available to students on the Ariel platform.
If the overall health situation allows it and in compliance with the regulations in force, there may be activities in presence in classroom, of which students will be appropriately informed through notices on the Ariel website.
Teaching Resources
Attending students, who take the course for a total of 9 CFU, will be required to prepare the following texts:


1.1. Stefano Petrucciani, «Modelli di filosofia politica», Torino, Einaudi, 2003

1.2. G.W.F. Hegel, «Fenomenologia dello Spirito», con testo tedesco a fronte, Introduzione, traduzione, note e apparati di Vincenzo Cicero, Milano, Bompiani, 2000, pp. 1-167.

2. G.W.F. Hegel, «Fenomenologia dello Spirito», con testo tedesco a fronte, Introduzione, traduzione, note e apparati di Vincenzo Cicero, Milano, Bompiani, 2000, pp. 260-331;
together with:
Franco Chiereghin, «La Fenomenologia dello Spirito di Hegel: introduzione alla lettura», Roma, Carocci, 2008.

3. G.W.F. Hegel, «Fenomenologia dello Spirito», con testo tedesco a fronte, Introduzione, traduzione, note e apparati di Vincenzo Cicero, Milano, Bompiani, 2000, pp. 588-799.

Attending students, taking the course for a total of 6 CFU, will be required to prepare only the texts indicated in points 1.1., 1.2., and 2.

Non-attending students who take the course for a total of 6 C FU or 9 CFU will be required to integrate the preparation with the study of the following text:
Luca Illetterati, Paolo Giuspoli, Gianluca Mensola, «Hegel», Roma, Carocci, 2010.
Assessment methods and Criteria
At the end of the course, the students will have to pass an oral exam, divided into two parts, to be passed in the same session. In the first part, dedicated to the institutional preparation, knowledge of the basic lines of the history of political philosophy will be verified. In the second part, dedicated to the specific theme of the monographic course, the discussion will be aimed at ascertaining both the precise knowledge of the texts in the program, and the ability to enucleate the main philosophical-political problems addressed in them and to compare alternative philosophical-political theses. The students should be able to reconstruct the conceptual structure of the texts and the argumentative strategies followed in them. The students must bring with them the texts in program at the time of the oral examination: the discussion can start from reading and commenting on some significant passages of a philosophical work that has been analysed in the lectures of the course.
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.
The exam will take place in oral form using the Microsoft Teams platform or, if the regulations allow it, in presence.

Please note:
The examination modalities for students with disabilities and/or DSA must be agreed with the teacher, in accord with the competent Office.
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.