73073 - Theoretical Philosophy (LM)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will have become familiar with some of the main concepts of epistemology; you will be able to reflect critically on their mutual relations and on the relations that connect them to other basic concept of philosophy; you will have acquired the ability to read and interpret with some autonomy texts of a conceptual and argumentative nature; you will possess the tools to study in more depth human knowledge and the various forms of experience; you will understand the relationship between the structuring of concepts, the thery of cognitive abstraction and the various modes of human experience in their practical, vital and behavioural aspects; you will be able to adapt the philosophical-conceptual tools in your possession to new problems and issues; and you will be able to conceptualise human knowledge as an open and non-dogmatic process of neverending transformation of our presuppositions.

Course contents

Title course: «The philosophy of experience»

The course will examine the main features of the English empiricism (Locke, Berkeley, Hume) with particular regard to the problem of knowledge and the theme of abstraction. During the course will be dealt with the issues inherent in the function of ideas, the theory of perception, the role of imagination, the structure of language and, finally, the characterization of Hume's skepticism as the outcome of a thought's evolution.

The course is scheduled in the first semester, 1th and 2th period (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). The course will start on Monday, September 24th. 1th period: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9-11, lecture room D via Zamboni 34. 2th period: Monday 13-15, lecture room D via Zamboni 34; Tuesday 13-15, lecture room D via Zamboni 34; Wednesday 9-11, lecture room A via Zamboni 34.

Ten lectures will be dedicated to the discussion of the topics concerning each of the authors treated (Locke, Berkeley, Hume).


Readings/Bibliography

Readings/Bibliography:

1) J. Locke, Saggio sull'intelletto umano, UTET, Torino, 1971, 2013, Libro I; Libro II: capp. I-III, VI-IX, XI-XII, XXII-XXVII, XXX-XXXIII; Libro III; Libro IV: capp. I-VIII.

2) G. Berkeley, Trattato sui principi della conoscenza umana, in Id., Opere filosofiche, UTET, Torino, 1996, Mondadori, Milano, 2009.

3) D. Hume, Trattato sulla natura umana, in Id., Opere 1, Laterza. Roma-Bari, 1971 e sgg., Libro primo: «Sull'intelletto», pp. 5-285.

4) D. Hume, Ricerca sull'intelletto umano, in Id., Opere 2, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1971 e sgg., pp. 3-175.

For further optional readings, one can refer to the essays contained in the following books:

a) The Cambridge Companion to Locke, ed. by V. Chappell, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994.

b) The Cambridge Companion to Locke's "Essay concerning human understanding", ed. by L. Newman, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

c) The Cambridge Companion to Berkeley, ed. by K. P. Winkler, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

d) The Cambridge Companion to Hume, ed. by D. Fate Norton-J. Taylor, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2009 (second ed.).

English-speaking or other visiting students are free to refer to the English editions of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.

The exam texts are the same also for non-attending students. Texts and Teaching materials can be downloaded from "teaching material".

Teaching methods

 

Ex-cathedra lectures, textual commentary, class discussions on specific issues, dialogical lectures.

The course is scheduled in the first semester, 1th and 2th period (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday). The course will start on Monday, September 24th. 1th period: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9-11, lecture room D via Zamboni 34. 2th period: Monday 13-15, lecture room D via Zamboni 34; Tuesday 13-15, lecture room D via Zamboni 34; Wednesday 9-11, lecture room A via Zamboni 34.

Lessons are scheduled to start September 24th, 2018

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 evalueted on the basis of a viva voce. The oral examination aim to assessing the student's ability to present and critically analyse the various views discussed in the course.

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