78001 - Theories of Ontology (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Luca Guidetti
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: M-FIL/01
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Philosophical Sciences (cod. 8773)

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to make known and discuss the main positions regarding the theme of "being" in the sphere of the whole philosophical thought, with particular reference to modern and contemporary age. In this regard, the investigation of the principles, laws and structures requires to be related to the original situation of man as being in the world, to his intentional modalities and his forms of objectification of reality. This theoretical knowledges will be used to recognize and understand the concrete areas in which the ontological theories are applied, with particular attention to the characteristics of the scientific investigation and the experiential forms which structure the different visions of reality and which do not concern a mere discourse on 'being', but a being that manifests itself in the human discourse on the world. This is obtained through the knowledge of the different theories of abstraction and the formation of concepts, the understanding of the notion of truth, the investigation of the functions of language and theories of experience, the examination of the metaphysical assumptions that determine the understanding of reality, of the criteria for identifying objects. The aim of the course is to grasp and analyze the ontological determinations present in the various currents of Western philosophy (naturalism, idealism, realism, empiricism, rationalism, positivism, materialism, spiritualism, etc.), moving in particular from perspectives of critical-transcendental, phenomenological and logical-linguistic investigations. The tools useful for achieving this knowledge are reading and analyzing texts, acquiring a basic vocabulary adapted to the orientation of students in order to ontological problems, reading and understanding of the secondary literature to face the issues concerning subjectivity and objectivity in relation to the different senses of reality.

Course contents

Course title:


During this year we will examine Wittgenstein's positions that emerge from the Philosophical Grammar, published for the first time in 1969 and taken from a typescript commonly known as Big Typescript on which Wittgenstein worked in the years 1930-1932, subjecting it in part to two revisions between 1933 and 1934. The Philosophische Grammatik is a transitional text in which the themes found in the Philosophical Investigations are already outlined. The problem of the relationship between thought, language and the world is traced back to the use of linguistic expressions as a calculation system in accordance with the rules governing the grammar of signs from which the multiple meanings of reality arise.

Distribution of topics in lectures:

of the 15 lectures available:
• 3 will be dedicated to a historical-philosophical introduction to the philosophy of Wittgenstein;
• 12 will be dedicated to the discussion and commentary of the text.

Start of lectures and place:

  • The lectures will begin on Monday, January 29, 2024 and will be held every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 to 7 pm.


Obligatory readings for all students:

  • L. Wittgenstein, Grammatica filosofica, La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1990, First part, pp. 5-200. The text will be available in the "teaching material".

Some significant passages of the text will also be read and commented in the original language (German), although it is not necessary for the students to know this language.

  • Slides and notes progressively deposited in the "teaching material".

Optional readings (strong recommended for non-attending students):

(NOTE: the obligatory text and the teaching material made available (to which special attention must be paid), are sufficient to pass the exam with maximum profit. Non-attending students who feel the need for further information are requested to contact the teacher at the following email address: l.guidetti@unibo.it). 

For an introduction to Wittgenstein's thought:

  • L. Perissinotto, Introduzione a Wittgenstein, il Mulino, Bologna 2018.
  • D. Marconi, Guida a Wittgenstein, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2002.
  • G.H. von Wright, Wittgenstein, il Mulino, Bologna 1983.


Teaching methods

Lectures, reading and commentary on texts and on primary sources, discussion on specific issues.

Assessment methods

Oral test with verification of specific historical and philosophical knowledge and of the level of assimilation and processing critical-conceptual content (see "Evaluation board". Each entry has a maximum of 10 points, for a total of 30 points + possible laude).

Assessment criteria and thresholds of evaluation:

30 cum laude: Excellent as to knowledge, terminology and critical expression.

30: Excellent, knowledge is complete, well articulated and correctly expressed, although with some slight faults.

27-29: Good, knowledge comprehensive and satisfactory, essentially correct expression .

24-26: Fairly good, knowledge present in significant points, but not complete and not always expressed with correctness.

21-23: Sufficient, knowledge is sometimes superficial, but the guiding general thread is included. Expression and articulation incomplete and often not appropriate

18-21:.Almost sufficient, but knowledge present only on the surface. The guiding principle is not included with continuity. The expression and articulation of the speech show important gaps.

<18: Not sufficient, knowledge absent or very incomplete, lack of guidance in discipline, expression seriously deficient. Exam failed.

Teaching tools

Overhead Projector with PC.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Luca Guidetti


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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.