Theoretical philosophy

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course has the goal to discuss in depth problems in the general area of theoretical philosophy, focusing not just on ontological issues but also on ones concerning the nature of the human mind and stressing the connections with other disciplines, both scientific (psychology, biology, etc) and not (literature, visual arts) ‒ thereby helping students to develop their analytical skills and recognize the connections between philosophical research and the world of culture in general.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
- In-depth knowledge of problems in the area of theoretical philosophy and development of the analytical skills needed to evaluate the various positions which have been embraced in the relevant debates, especially with regard to the most recent developments in the field.
- Ability to employ the concepts and the technical terminology involved in the framing of the problems in question and in the attempts to deal with them.
- Development of a better familiarity with the research methods in the area of theoretical philosophy; special attention is devoted to opportunities to employ ideas and concepts from other disciplines.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- Ability to apply the knowledge acquired in order to frame problems and solutions concerning the various issues discussed during the course.
- Ability to apply the analytical skills developed and the concepts and methods studied, both in and outside the context of academic philosophy.
- Ability to deal with research results in the area of theoretical philosophy, familiarity with the contemporary debate concerning the topics covered in the course.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

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:
Teams: code 7yal3sb

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 to 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 / written and is held on [MSTeams / Moodle SEB / proctoring system / etc] in any emergency situation, whether yellow, orange or red zone, in compliance with the guidelines provided by the University. The online course on Ariel 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:…
Students wishing to participate in MSTeams lessons must refer to the following technical guides:…
To participate in the exam sessions, students must refer to the following provisions:…
Course syllabus
The stubborn Imagination

There are objects and events we experience that are unavoidably under the grasp of a stubborn imagination. Aim of the class is to discuss this particular kind of imaginings which - far from being the outcome of a free choice and decision - depend on their occurrences and contents from perceptual situations.
The first lessons will be devoted to analysing imagination in its general nature. After that, the class will dwell upon three different kinds of stubborn imagination:
- the imagination of expressive properties;
- the imagination of existentially relevant events;
- the imagination of the "ontological infringements"
The concluding remarks will cast a glance to the role that stubborn imagination plays in myth, religion, and poetry.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge in Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind
Teaching methods
Debate and discussion
Teaching Resources
Readings and assignments (provisional version. The final version will be published in the arie web-page of the course)

Assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:
one text among the followings:
- K.Walton, Mimesis as Make-Believe, HUP, 1990 (trad. it, Mimesis, Milano 2011);
- G. Currie, I. Ravenscroft, Recreative Minds, OUP, 2002;
- The Routledge Handbook of Imagination, ed. A. Kind, Routledge 2016, part 2;

one group of texts among the followings:
(R. Hursthouse, "Arational Actions, Journal of Philosophy, 88, 2, 1991; P. Spinicci, Le azioni narrative in AAVV, Prassi, cultura, realtà, Mimesis; Milano 2020, PP. 247-259; L. Wittgenstein, Note sul "Ramo d'oro", Adelphi, Milano 1975.

b) P. Spinicci, Dieci lezioni sulle proprietà espressive,…;
c) S. E. Guthrie, Faces in the clouds. A new theory of religion, OUP, 1995

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:

P. Boyer, E l'uomo creò gli dei, Odoya, Città di Castello, 2016;
A. Ichino, Credo in un solo Dio. O me lo immagino? Cortina, Milano 2020.

Lessons, texts, and materials made available on the ariel-web page of the course are part of the exam program.

Eventual changes in the exam program will be announced in the ariel-web page of the course. Students are kindly requested to consult the ariel-we page frequently.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Both for attending and non-attending students, the final examination consists of an oral exam of about 30 minutes, divided into two parts of 15 minutes each. The first part has to test the knowledge and the understanding of the suggested readings., where the second part has to text the ability to analyze and discuss short quotes from the readings of the examination program.
Attending students can submit a short paper (about 5000 words) on topics related to the class. The clarity in the exposition and the solidity in argumentative construction will be taken into account for evaluating the paper. Essays will not receive an autonomous mark. They will be discussed during the oral examination and they will contribute to the definition of the final grade.
Evaluation criteria:
- knowledge of the theoretical aspects of the topics discusses during the course (exposition);
- ability to exemplify concepts (understanding);
- ability to apply concepts (development);
- linguistic skills
Unita' didattica A
M-FIL/01 - THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-FIL/01 - THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
M-FIL/01 - THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)