History of Philosophy

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
M-FIL/06
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The teaching aims at providing students with an in-depth knowledge of relevant topics in the history of Western philosophy and of their different interpretations. The student will acquire the methodological tools needed to develop an autonomous critical and interpretative assessment of philosophical texts and theories in their historical context.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
By the end of the course, the student will have acquired:
- an intimate knowledge of relevant themes in the history of Western philosophy, of their tradition and transformations. This knowledge will be gained through close reading of philosophical classics.
- an intimate knowledge of the terminology of philosophy and of the semantic nuances that philosophical terms can have in different historical and theoretical contexts.
- an in-depth philological understanding the way sources are used in philosophical texts.
- a critical understanding of the main interpretative options emerging from the scholarly tradition.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
By the end of the course, the student will be able to:
- apply the acquired reading skills to the independent critical analysis of philosophical texts, whose themes and lines of argument the student will be able to assess and evaluate against the background of their tradition and transformations.
- apply the intimate knowledge of the terminology of philosophy to the understanding of its nuances in different historical and theoretical contexts.
- apply the acquired knowledge of methodological and bibliographic tools to independent research in the history of philosophy.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
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.
The lessons will be held in dual mode. The face-to-face lessons will allow the participation of students connected with MSTeams as well as students in the classroom.
The recordings of the lessons will remain available for the entire semester.

Online environments used:
Ariel: https://mbaldisflm.ariel.ctu.unimi.it/
Teams: zyo605m (keycode in Ariel)
Students wishing to participate in face-to-face lessons must refer to the following University provisions: https://www.unimi.it/en/study/bachelor-and-master-study/following-your-programme-study/teaching-activities-campus

Students wishing to participate in MSTeams lessons must refer to the following technical guides: https://www.unimi.it/en/study/student-services/technology-and-online-services/microsoft-office-365-education
To participate in the exam sessions, students must refer to the following provisions:
https://www.unimi.it/en/study/bachelor-and-master-study/following-your-programme-study/sitting-exams
Course syllabus
The course deals with Adorno's reflection concerning the decadence of the individual. According to the Frankfurt School and its critical theory, the disenchanted world forged by instrumental reason paradoxically turns liberation into domination. The increasingly integrated and antagonistic society totally brings the individual back to his social determination and shapes him accordingly. Yet, notwithstanding the loss of subjectivity, only the individual seems to be able to think critically, moving from his experiences of the wrong state of things, from suffering and discrimination.
The Dialectic of the Enlightenment provides students with a preliminary overview of Adorno's thought, starting from the concepts of criticism and self-criticism of reason, negative dialectics, estrangement, and alienation. Afterward, the course focuses on Minima moralia. Reflections from the damaged life: how can we speak of ethics after the death of ethics? The reading of the text will be the basis for in-depth analysis by students through written reports.
Prerequisites for admission
No previous specific knowledge is required. Solid knowledge of the history of contemporary philosophy is welcomed.
Teaching methods
Lectures.
Discussions on the topics of the course, starting from students' questions.
Writing exercise.
Teaching Resources
READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS FOR ATTENDING STUDENTS:

Assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:
1. M. Horkheimer, Eclisse della ragione. Critica della ragione strumentale, tr. it. Einaudi, Torino 2000
2. M. Horkheimer - Th.W. Adorno, Dialettica dell'illuminismo, tr. it. di R. Solmi, introd. di C. Galli, Einaudi, Torino 2010
3. Scheda riassuntiva di M. Horhkeimer, Eclisse della ragione (disponibile online)
4. M. Jay, L'immaginazione dialettica, tr. it. Einaudi, Torino 1973, cap. VIII, pp. 401-444

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:
1. Th.W. Adorno, Minima moralia. Meditazioni della vita offesa, tr. it. di R. Solmi, introd. L. Ceppa, Einaudi, Torino 2015
2. One book from the following list:
- L. Cortella, Una dialettica nella finitezza. Adorno e il programma di una dialettica negativa, Meltemi, Milano 2006.
- A. Honneth, Critica del potere. La teoria della società in Adorno, Foucault e Habermas, tr. it. Dedalo, Bari 2002, capp. 1, 2, 3
- T. Huhn, The Cambridge Companion to Adorno, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2004
- S. Jarvis, Adorno. A critical introduction, Polity Press, Oxford 1998
- M. Jay, L'immaginazione dialettica, tr. it. Einaudi, Torino 1973 (the whole book)
- G. Pasqualotto, Teoria come utopia. Studi sulla Scuola di Francoforte, Bertani, Verona 1974
- S. Petrucciani, Ragione e dominio. L'autocritica della razionalità occidentale in Adorno e Horkheimer, Salerno Editrice, Roma 1984
- C. Pettazzi, Th.W. Adorno: linee di origine e di sviluppo del pensiero (1903-1949), La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1979
- R. Wiggershaus, La scuola di Francoforte. Storia. Sviluppo teorico. Significato politico, trad. it P. Amari e E. Grillo, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 1992, capp. 1, 2, 3, 4

READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS FOR NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
Assignments for both 6 and 9 ECTS exams:
1. M. Horkheimer, Eclisse della ragione. Critica della ragione strumentale, tr. it. Einaudi, Torino 2000
2. M. Horkheimer - Th.W. Adorno, Dialettica dell'illuminismo, tr. it. di R. Solmi, introd. di C. Galli, Einaudi, Torino 2010
3. Scheda riassuntiva di M. Horhkeimer, Eclisse della ragione (disponibile online)
parte aggiuntiva per il programma da 9 cfu
4. M. Jay, L'immaginazione dialettica, tr. it. Einaudi, Torino 1973, cap. VIII, pp. 401-444

Additional assignments for 9 ECTS exam:
1. Th.W. Adorno, Minima moralia. Meditazioni della vita offesa, tr. it. di R. Solmi, introd. L. Ceppa, Einaudi, Torino 2015
2. One book from the following list:
- L. Cortella, Una dialettica nella finitezza. Adorno e il programma di una dialettica negativa, Meltemi, Milano 2006.
- A. Honneth, Critica del potere. La teoria della società in Adorno, Foucault e Habermas, tr. it. Dedalo, Bari 2002, capp. 1, 2, 3
- T. Huhn, The Cambridge Companion to Adorno, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2004
- S. Jarvis, Adorno. A critical introduction, Polity Press, Oxford 1998
- M. Jay, L'immaginazione dialettica, tr. it. Einaudi, Torino 1973 (the whole book)
- G. Pasqualotto, Teoria come utopia. Studi sulla Scuola di Francoforte, Bertani, Verona 1974
- S. Petrucciani, Ragione e dominio. L'autocritica della razionalità occidentale in Adorno e Horkheimer, Salerno Editrice, Roma 1984
- C. Pettazzi, Th.W. Adorno: linee di origine e di sviluppo del pensiero (1903-1949), La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1979
- R. Wiggershaus, La scuola di Francoforte. Storia. Sviluppo teorico. Significato politico, trad. it P. Amari e E. Grillo, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 1992, capp. 1, 2, 3, 4
Assessment methods and Criteria
The oral exam will be a colloquium on the program of the course. The student will be required to explain and comment on a passage from the texts in the program.
Students are expected also to write a brief paper on one topic chosen from a list.
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)