00399 - Theoretical Philosophy

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Philosophy (cod. 9216)

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will have gained access to some major themes and figures in the history of philosophy, and the discussion of some perspectives emerging from contemporary thought will enable you to relate with the "perennial" character of philosophical work.

Course contents

Title course: "The Diary of a Seducer and the Aesthetics of Don Juan in Kierkegaard's Philosophy of Existence".

The aim of the course is to introduce the main aspects of Kierkegaard's philosophy, with particular reference to the theme of the aesthetic vision of life. Topics covered include: the mask's role in Kierkegaard's work; the Romantic conception of art; the notion of choice between different possibilities of life; the figure of the seducer; the role of marriage and of women; the themes of seduction, boredom and melancholy; the relationship between sensuality and music; the Kierkegaardian notion of love; the immediacy of desire: Faust and Don Juan: desire for knowledge and desire for pleasure; demonic eros; freedom and libertinism; anxiety and desire.

The course is scheduled in the second semester, 3th and 4th period: 3th period (from January 29th): Monday, Tuesday, 9-11, lecture room VI via Zamboni 38, Wednesday 11-13, classroom VI, via Zamboni 38; 4th period (from March 18th): Monday and Tuesday, 9-11, classroom VI via Zamboni 38, Wednesday 9-11, classroom III via Zamboni 38.

The course will take place in presence.

Lectures face-to-face are scheduled to start on January 29th 2024.





Mandatory readings for all students:

1) S. Kierkegaard, Diario del seduttore, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2019.

2) S. Kierkegaard, Don Giovanni, Gli stadi erotici immediati, ovvero il musicale erotico, SE, Milano, 2015 (or Don Giovanni, Oscar Mondadori, Milano; Don Giovanni, BUR, Rizzoli, Milano).

3) S. Kierkegaard, In vino veritas, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2020.

4) S. Kierkegaard, Sulla seduzione. Silhouettes, il melangolo, Genova, 2020.

5) E. Rocca, Kierkegaard, Carocci, Roma, 2013.

One of the following texts is recommended for non-attending students:

1) Peter P. Rohde, Soren Kierkegaard. Un genio in una città provinciale, Castelvecchi, Roma, 2018.

2) U. Regina, Kierkegaard, La Scuola, Brescia, 2014.

3) H. Hoffding, Kierkegaard umanista, Castelvecchi, Roma, 2018.

The texts in the syllabus are available at the FILCOM library and at other libraries of the Polo Bibliotecario Bolognese.

Teaching materials can be downloaded from "teaching material".

English-speaking or other visiting students are free to the English (French or German) editions of these readings, if available at all.




Teaching methods

Frontal lectures, textual commentary, class discussions on specific issues, dialogical lessons.
The course is scheduled in the second semester, 3th and 4th period (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. 3th period (from January 29th): Monday, Tuesday, 9-11, lecture room VI via Zamboni 38, Wednesday 11-13, lecture room VI, via Zamboni 38; 4th period (from March 18th): Monday and Tuesday, 9-11, lecture room VI via Zamboni 38, Wednesday 9-11, lecture room III via Zamboni 38.

Lectures are scheduled to start on January 29th, 2024.

Please note that, in line with established Italian academic custom, each class will begin 15 minutes after the indicated time (this is to favour students we may come from classes held in different buildings).

I will be grateful to Erasmus and other Exchange students who intend to attend the course if they get in touch with me before the beginning.

Assessment methods

Students will be evaluated on the basis of a viva voce. The oral exam aim to assessing the student's ability to present and critically analyse the topics discussed in the course.

Students with disabilities and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)Students with disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders have the right to special accommodations according to their condition, following an assessment by the Service for Students with Disabilities and SLD. Please do not contact the teacher but get in touch with the Service directly to schedule an appointment. It will be the responsibility of the Service to determine the appropriate adaptations. For more information, visit the page:

Grade assessment criteria

Grade range below 18 – Fail. Poor knowledge of core material, a significant inability to engage with the discipline. Very poor presentation.

Grade range 18-21 – Pass. Limited and superficial knowledge of the subject, a significant inability to follow the thread of the discussion. Presentation with many inadequacies.

Grade range 21-23 – Adequate. The knowledge is superficial, but the thread of the discussion has been consistently grasped. Presentation with some inadequacies.

Grade range 24-26 – Acceptable. Elementary knowledge of the key principles and concepts. The presentation is occasionally weak.

Grade range 27-29 – Good. Comprehensive knowledge. Good presentation.

30 – Very Good. Detailed knowledge with hints of critical thinking. Very good presentation.

30 cum laude – Outstanding. Excellent knowledge and depth of understanding. Excellent presentation.

Teaching tools

Blackboard, PC, Slides projector

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Besoli