00393 - Moral Philosophy (A-L)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in History (cod. 0962)

    Also valid for First cycle degree programme (L) in Philosophy (cod. 9216)
    First cycle degree programme (L) in Philosophy (cod. 9216)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be capable of tackling the main themes and issues of ethics as maturing in the past, with special attention to the latest critical debate; they will know how to analyse and explore classical texts and authors.

Course contents

This course provides an introduction to the major approaches in normative ethics and key issues in moral psychology. The approach integrates historical and theoretical analysis.

The course is divided into the following four sections:

  • Metaethics
  • Normative ethics
  • Moral psychology
  • Focus on a classic text of moral philosophy


I. Introductory readings

  • Donatelli, P. (2015), Etica. I classici, le teorie e le linee evolutive, Torino, Einaudi: Ch. I (Platone); Ch. II (Aristotele); Ch. X (Hume e Smith); Ch. XI (Kant); Ch. XIII (Mill); Ch. XIV (Nietzsche)
  • Selection of excerpts from Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Smith, Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche (available on Virtuale).


II. Focus

  • Aristotele, Etica Nicomachea, a cura di Carlo Natali, Roma-Bari: Laterza, 1999 (rist. 2005).

NB All readings are mandatory.

Non-attending students are are invited to read De Caro, M., Magni, S. F., Vaccarezza, M. S. (2021), Le sfide dell’etica, Milano, Mondadori: Ch. 4 (Oggettività); Ch. 7 (Relatività); Ch. 8 (Dovere); Ch. 9 (Utilità); Ch. 10 (Virtù).

Teaching methods

Lectures and discussion.

Assessment methods

Students will be evaluated on the basis of a written examination which consists of

  • A multiple-choice test (15 questions concerning the readings listed as introductory in the Bibliography)
  • Open question (concerning the classic text)

A pass (9/15) on the multiple-choice test is required in order to access the open question.

Open question – assessment criteria and breakdown of final mark:

  • comprehension of prescribed texts (knowledge of content and ability to report the most relevant information), thematic relevance and clarity of expression: 10 marks.
  • language, style, and accuracy in written communication: 6 marks.

Achieving all 31 marks (15/15 + 16/16)  will entitle the student to a grade of 30 e lode.

Students who achieve a pass mark may resit to improve that mark only once.


Students with disabilities and Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD)

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


Teaching tools

Further readings will be provided via Virtuale.

Office hours

See the website of Pia Campeggiani