28488 - History of Philosophy (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course intends to provide useful conceptual tools and specific methodological knowledge for the analysis of significant traditions, texts and figures in the historical and philosophical context and in the history of Western culture.

Course contents

The course is entirely focused on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s philosophy and deals specifically with some principal aspects of his thought regarding metaphysics (first and second week), the theory of knowledge (third week), ontology (fourth week) and ethics (fifth week). Particular attention is devoted to the concept of Monad and to Leibniz’s position in Cartesian debate.


Course timetable: 2nd semester (3rd period), Monday and  Thursday. 15 – 17, aula XI (Via Zamboni 38), Tuesday 11 – 13, aula XI (Via Zamboni 38)


1. Texts that are be discussed in class and made available as didactic material.

2. Students are required to study the following books by Leibniz

Confessio philosophi / La professione di fede del filosofo
Discorso di metafisica

Nuovo sistema della natura e della comunicazione tra le sostanze, nonché dell’unione che si ha tra anima e corpo
La causa di Dio
Principi della natura e della grazia fondati nella ragione
Principi di filosofia o Monadologia

All are available in: W. Leibniz, Scritti filosofici, a cura di M. Mugnai e E. Pasini, 3 voll. Torino, Utet, 2000 e : G.W. Leibniz, Saggi filosofici e lettere, a cura di V. Mathieu, Bari, Laterza, 1963;

3. One text of your choice from the following list

E.J. Aiton, Leibniz, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1991;
M.R. Antognazza, Leibniz: una biografia intellettuale, Milano, Hoepli, 2015
M.-Th. Liske, Leibniz, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2007;
V. Mathieu, Introduzione a Leibniz, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1976 (3° ed. 1991);
M. Mugnai, Introduzione alla filosofia di Leibniz, Torino, Einaudi, 2001;


Not attending students have to substitute point 1 with the whole reading of Saggi di Teodicea (any edition is fine).


Teaching methods

Frontal lessons

Assessment methods

The final oral exam focuses on the programme’s material and will be held in the Professor’s office, Via Zamboni, 38.

The critical evaluation considers the fundamental notions, the level of the analysis and the critical skills. On the basis of these three principal parameters an overall evaluation in thirtieths is expressed.

18-21 Sufficient

22-25 Average

26-28 Good-Very Good

29-30 Excellent

Teaching tools

During the lessons, powerpoint program will be used.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Cerrato