History of political thought

A.Y. 2021/2022
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/02
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide students with the acquisition of theoretical, methodological and critical tools proper to the history of political thought. The student will acquire the ability to apply the knowledge learned in the context of the history of political thought for the purpose of a critical re-elaboration of the problems and will be able to express critical judgments. At the end of the course, students will have achieved the ability to communicate clearly, and to write in a correct way, synthetic considerations on the main issues of modern and contemporary politics, critically reshaping ideas and theses put forward by the main authors who have contributed to the Western political and philosophical tradition.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student:
1. will have a fully adequate knowledge of the theories and themes in the history of political thought and will be able to identify and discuss their critical points;
2. will have a systematic and in-depth knowledge of the history of political thought from ancient times to contemporary times, acquired through the reading of the classics and the study of secondary literature.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student:
1. will be able to apply appropriately the knowledge and critical skills acquired from the study of the history of political thought in order to make critical judgments in different areas of contemporary concrete reality;
2. will be able to apply the acquired knowledge in order to develop the ability to discuss and compare different theoretical and cultural perspectives;
3. will be able to apply with mastery the methodology of historical-political research and will be able to produce original research.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
Course Title:
Recognition, Conflict, and Social Freedom: The Critical Theory of Axel Honneth
(60 hours 9 CFU)

First Part:
Recognition, self-realisation, and conflict

Second part:
Misrecognition, reification, social invisibility.

Third part:
Democratic ethos and the problem of social freedom

Course presentation
The aim of the course is to reconstruct the most important phases of the development of the critical theory elaborated by Axel Honneth, during the last thirty years. An attempt will be made to highlight and analyse how Honneth comes to terms with the philosophers of the first generation of the so-called Frankfurt School, and how he distances himself from his teacher Jürgen Habermas. Particular attention will be paid to Honneth's dialogue with large sectors of contemporary Anglo-Saxon political philosophy and with some recent developments in psychoanalysis (Donald W. Winnicott, Wilfred Bion, Jessica Benjamin and others). His attempt to reformulate some theses of the Hegelian philosophy related to the constitution of the ethical sphere will be discussed in a careful and critical way, in order to highlight some internal tensions.

The course requires the active participation of students, through the presentation of reports, teamwork and classroom discussions.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is open to post graduate students (Laurea magistrale) and requires a basic knowledge of the history of modern and contemporary philosophy and history of political thought gained during the B.A. degree (Laurea Triennale).
Teaching methods
Lectures
Discussions
Teamwork
Teaching Resources
Bibliography

First part - Program for attending and non-attending students.

Required text:

A. Honneth, «Lotta per il riconoscimento. Proposte per un'etica del conflitto», Milano, Il Saggiatore, 2002

One of the following volumes:

Axel Honneth, «Patologie della ragione. Storia e attualità della teoria critica», a cura di Antonio Carnevale, Lecce, Pensa Multimedia, 2012;

Axel Honneth, «Riconoscimento. Storia di un'idea europea»,
Milano, Feltrinelli, 2019.


Second part - Program for attending and non-attending students.

Required text:

Axel Honneth, «La libertà negli altri. Saggi di filosofia sociale»,
a cura di Barbara Carnevali, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2017

One of the following volumes:


Axel Honneth, «Reificazione. Sulla teoria del riconoscimento»,
Milano, Meltemi, 2019.

Axel Honneth, «Capitalismo e riconoscimento»,
Firenze, Firenze University Press, 2009


Third part - Program for attending and non-attending students.

Required text:


Axel Honneth, «Il diritto della libertà. Lineamenti per un'eticità democratica», prefazione di Gustavo Zagrebelsky, Torino, Codice Edizioni, 2015

One of the following volumes:

Axel Honneth, «Il dolore dell'indeterminato. Una attualizzazione della filosofia politica di Hegel», Roma, Manifestolibri, 2003;

Axel Honneth, «L'idea di socialismo. Un sogno necessario»,
Milano, Feltrinelli, 2016


Students who have NOT passed the exam of "History of Political Philosophy", in the course of the bachelor's degree, are also required to study the following textbook:
B. Henry, A. Loretoni, A. Pirni, M. Solinas, eds., «Filosofia politica», Milano, Mondadori Università 2020.
Students in this situation will have to discuss with the professor, during the office-hours, in order to have a partial reduction of the program.

The program for 6 CFU for attending and non-attending students requires the study of the first and the second parts (and the preparation of the textbook «Filosofia politica, Milano, Mondadori Università 2020 for those who have not passed the exam of "Storia della filosofia politica" during the three-year degree).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a preliminary written test, on a subject to be agreed upon, to be handed in to the professor at least two weeks before the oral exam, and of an oral exam, aimed at ascertaining a thorough knowledge of the texts and topics in the program.
In the oral exam, in particular, the degree of understanding and knowledge of the texts will be evaluated: students will have to show that they know how to deal with the texts of the history of political thought in a rigorous and critical way, contextualising them and recognising the conceptual and argumentative devices at work in them. The oral exam will also assess the students' ability to master the main philosophical-political problems addressed and to discuss general issues by adopting the appropriate methodological perspectives.
Students will have to show that they are able to discuss the arguments of the different authors and the main problems faced, using an adequate vocabulary and taking into account the most important contributions of the reference historiography.

In summary, during the tests will be evaluated:
- the knowledge of the conceptual aspects addressed during the course (exposition);
- the ability to analyse concepts (comprehension);
- the autonomy of judgment and the ability to apply the concepts (development);
- communication skills and language adequacy.

Students are required to bring their texts with them to the oral exam: the interview may begin with the reading and commentary of some significant passages from a work analysed during the course.
Unita' didattica A
SPS/02 - HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
SPS/02 - HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
SPS/02 - HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Professor(s)