History of modern philosophy

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/06
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to allow students to acquire the methodological and critical tools characterising philosophical studies in the history of early modern philosophy, in their different articulations, together with a sound general knowledge of the historical evolution of modern philosophical thought. To comply with the typically interdisciplinary character of philosophical research, the course also enables students to acquire adequate historical, linguistic and philological training, according to the study of the early modern age
The analysis of a central theme of metaphysics and its evolutions during the 17th and 18th centuries will allow the student to develop an in-depth knowledge of the various phases of the early modern philosophical tradition and the intersections between metaphysical, theological and moral perspectives.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student
1. masters a systematic and in-depth knowledge of the history of early modern philosophy, acquired through the reading of some classics of the early modern period and the study of secondary literature
2. has a philologically sound knowledge of the sources of early modern texts
3. understands the historical and theoretical meaning of early modern texts (also in their original language) and the transformations of traditions, concepts and argumentative forms over time
4. understands the various interpretations of texts analysed in different chronological, cultural and linguistic contexts in the early modern tradition
5. has proficient knowledge of the bibliographic resources and methodological tools characterising the historical-philosophical research, with special reference to the early modern period.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student
1. can apply the knowledge acquired in framing historically authors and texts from the early modern period
2. can soundly and adequately make use of the early modern philosophical lexicon, with philological awareness
3. can apply the acquired knowledge on the historical development of the argumentative forms, traditions of the early modern thought to the analysis of new textual and theoretical problems
4. can master and apply the methodological resources and bibliographic tools of historical-philosophical research in the early modern context and can produce original research, discussing the results obtained and presenting them to others.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021-2022 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The human animal. The animal world and the science of man from Montaigne to Condillac.

Animals are an essential point of reference in early modern philosophical thought. Indeed, the "science of man" took shape between the 17th and 18th centuries precisely by drawing a boundary between animal life and human life. But the animal also embodies the unexpressed possibilities of the human being, displaying forms of rationality and affectivity that man, or rather adult man, has lost or forgotten. Finally, the animal often functions in the metaphysics of early modernity as a scapegoat: the great theoretical decisions on the nature of the mind, psychophysical phenomena or even theodicy imply making pronouncements on the status of animals. This course will explore this confrontation with the animal world by analysing three paradigmatic cases.
In the Apology for Raymond Sebond, Montaigne makes the animal world a great mirror in which man can recognise himself and measure his own greatness, but also and above all his moral and intellectual miseries. In the Treatise on Animals, Condillac attempts to define the limits and powers of animal intelligence, reacting to the Cartesian reduction of the animal to a simple material machine. In doing so, however, Condillac also highlights a dimension of human psychic life that precedes the emergence of reason and discourse. This dimension is also capital in the Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men, whose famous theses on progress and the damage of civilisation will be analysed not so much as the long and splendid descriptions of the first stages of human existence, which is affirmed through a close dialogue and comparison with animal life.
These analyses, which differ in their aims and approaches, converge in recognising man as the only animal capable of knowing itself as mortal. This is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable contributions of the 'science of man' developed by modern philosophy.
Prerequisites for admission
No prior knowledge is needed.
Teaching methods
Lectures
Debate and discussion
Teaching Resources
READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS FOR ATTENDING STUDENTS:



Assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:



I. Montaigne, An Apology di Raymond Sebond.



II. Condillac, Traité des animaux.



III.1. E. Scribano, Macchine con la mente, Carocci, 2015.

III.2. Sergio Landucci, Una cosa che pensa. La mente in Cartesio, Mondadori, 2021 (nuova edizione riveduta e corretta).

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:



IV. Rousseau, Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes.



V. Rousseau, Essai sur l'origine des langues (available on the Ariel website of the course).



VI. One book from this list:



Boas, The Happy Beast in French Thought of the Seventeenth Century, John Hopkins Press, 1933.

Corbey, The metaphysics of apes: negotiating the animal-human boundary, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Landucci, I filosofi e i selvaggi, Einaudi, 2014.

Moravia, La scienza dell'uomo nel Settecento : con una appendice di testi, Bari : Laterza, 1970.

Sorabji, Animal minds and human morals : the origins of the western debate, Cornell UP, 1993.

Friedrich, Montaigne, University of California Press, 1991.

Gontier, De l'homme à l'animal, Vrin, 1998.

Panichi, Montaigne, Carocci, 2010.

Screech, Montaigne and Melancholy, Penguin, 1991.

Starobinski, Montaigne, Il paradosso dell'apparenza, Mulino, 1984.

Dagognet, L'animal selon Condillac, Vrin, 2004.

Fornari, Condillac. Ontologia ed empirismo, Aracne Editrice, 2015.

Knight, The geometric spirit: the Abbé de Condillac and the French Enlightenment, Yale University Press, 1968.

Burgelin, La philosophie de l'éxistence de J.-J. Rousseau, PUF, 1952

Carnevali, Romanticismo e riconoscimento. Figure della coscienza in Rousseau, Mulino, 2004.

Goldschmidt, Anthropologie et politique : les principes du système de Rousseau, Vrin, 1974.

Gouhier, Filosofia e religione in Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Laterza, 1977.

Starobinski, Rousseau. La trasparenza e l'ostacolo, Mulino, 1999.

Toto, L'origine e la storia L'origine e la storia. Il Discorso sull'ineguaglianza di Rousseau, ETS, 2019.



READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS FOR NON ATTENDING STUDENTS:



Assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:



I. Montaigne, An Apology di Raymond Sebond.



II. Condillac, Traité des animaux.



III.1. E. Scribano, Macchine con la mente, Carocci, 2015.

III.2. Sergio Landucci, Una cosa che pensa. La mente in Cartesio, Mondadori, 2021 (nuova edizione riveduta e corretta).

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:



IV. Rousseau, Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes.



V. Rousseau, Essai sur l'origine des langues (available on the Ariel website of the course).



V. Two books from this list:



Boas, The Happy Beast in French Thought of the Seventeenth Century, John Hopkins Press, 1933.

Corbey, The metaphysics of apes: negotiating the animal-human boundary, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Landucci, I filosofi e i selvaggi, Einaudi, 2014.

Moravia, La scienza dell'uomo nel Settecento : con una appendice di testi, Bari : Laterza, 1970.

Sorabji, Animal minds and human morals : the origins of the western debate, Cornell UP, 1993.

Friedrich, Montaigne, University of California Press, 1991.

Gontier, De l'homme à l'animal, Vrin, 1998.

Panichi, Montaigne, Carocci, 2010.

Screech, Montaigne and Melancholy, Penguin, 1991.

Starobinski, Montaigne, Il paradosso dell'apparenza, Mulino, 1984.

Dagognet, L'animal selon Condillac, Vrin, 2004.

Fornari, Condillac. Ontologia ed empirismo, Aracne Editrice, 2015.

Knight, The geometric spirit: the Abbé de Condillac and the French Enlightenment, Yale University Press, 1968.

Burgelin, La philosophie de l'éxistence de J.-J. Rousseau, PUF, 1952

Carnevali, Romanticismo e riconoscimento. Figure della coscienza in Rousseau, Mulino, 2004.

Goldschmidt, Anthropologie et politique : les principes du système de Rousseau, Vrin, 1974.

Gouhier, Filosofia e religione in Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Laterza, 1977.

Starobinski, Rousseau. La trasparenza e l'ostacolo, Mulino, 1999.

Toto, L'origine e la storia L'origine e la storia. Il Discorso sull'ineguaglianza di Rousseau, ETS, 2019.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral examination: The oral examination consists of an interview on the topics of the course and the texts in the programme. During the semester, those who wish will be assigned texts to comment in class or in a paper of a maximum of 10 000 characters, spaces included. These oral and written presentations will contribute to the final assessment.
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
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
Wednesday, 4-7pm. During the period of partial suspension of in-person teaching due to the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus emergency, office hours will be held remotely. Please write to the teacher to define the modalities.
Dipartimento di Filosofia, Cortile Ghiacciaia, Ist floor.