28019 - History of Medieval Philosophy (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course will lead to a thorough knowledge of the philosophical, theological and cultural medieval reflections. A goal of the course is to recognize the presence and the plurality of thought traditions over the centuries conventionally definited Middle Ages. The path of such a study is intertwined with the analysis of places, sources, translations and ways to read, preserve and transmit knowledge.More widely, we want to  draw the lines of an intellectual history, marked by discontinuity of the real historical dimension; a dimension which also opens to  concepts, issues and ideas of the modern and contemporary art. The topics discussed facilitate the achievement of useful skills for the philological analysis of texts and critical evaluation of secondary literature, both in terms of history both from the theoretical profile.

Course contents

The problem of free will in Thomas Aquinas

The course will deal with the relationship between intellect and will in Thomas Aquinas' thought, with particular reference, naturally, to the problem of free will. Some excursus will be made with reference to this issue in Dante's works. We will try to illustrate how Aquinas and the Thomist tradition faced rigidly deterministic conceptions of the psychic life, introduced and supported by some commentators of Aristotle and Averroes.  


Sofia Vanni Rovighi, Introduzione a Tommaso d'Aquino, Roma 2013.

A. Sertillanges, La vita intellettuale, a cura di A. Rigobello, Roma 2014.

Teaching methods

lectures. During class the teacher reads, translates and comments on relevant textual passages and thematic nodes.

Assessment methods

Oral examination: Students are recommended to bring the texts when examining.
Students who have attended lectures may agree on exams (whether written or oral) devoted to specific topics.

Assessment criteria and thresholds of evaluation:

30 cum laude - Excellent as to knowledge, philosophical lexicon and critical expression.

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

27-29 – Good: thorough and satisfactory knowledge; essentially correct expression.

24-26 - Fairly good: knowledge broadly acquired, and not always correctely expressed.

21-23 – Sufficient: superficial and partial knowledge; exposure and articulation are incomplete and often not sufficiently appropriate

18-21 - Almost sufficient: superficial and decontextualized knowledge. The exposure of the contents shows important gaps.

Exam failed - Students are requested to show up at a subsequent exam session if basic skills and knowledge are not sufficiently acquired and not placed in the historical-philosophical context.

Teaching tools

texts; during the course the teacher will provide handouts and translations students.

Students who have not attended the course will find educational materials available at the secretariat of the students, via Zamboni 38, second floor.

Office hours

See the website of Franco Bacchelli