10063 - Moral Philosophy A (A-L)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

Students are expected to acquire knowledge of the main issues of moral philosophy and their relationship with metaphysics and politics.

Course contents

Course title: Knowledge, virtue, politics (Platone, Dante, Hobbes)

The course aims to reconstruct three epochal variants (ancient world, Middle Ages and modernity) of the relationship between knowledge, morals and power.

Timetable: I semester, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 17-19. Aula Berti, Via Ludovico Berti 2/7.

Lessons are scheduled to start on Monday 30 Sptember.

7/9 classes will be dedicated to Plato, Dante Alighieri, and Hobbes, respectively. The first class will feature a general introduction to the module and the last one will be dedicated to conclusive remarks. Students will work on topics suggested by the lecturer and discuss their work publicly (3/4 classes). Three classes will be reserved for partial verifications (see the specific item).



R. Caporali, Uguaglianza, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2012: for all students.


II. Two of the following groups:


- Platone, Repubblica (any edition; we recommend the edition by F. Adorno, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2007).

- M. Vegetti, Guida alla lettura della Repubblica di Platone, Roma-Bari, Laterza.



– Dante Alighieri, Monarchia: any edition; we recommend the edition by M. Pizzica, introd. di G. Petrocchi, Milano, Rizzoli, 2001/2.

– H. Kelsen, La teoria dello Stato in Dante, Bologna, Boni, 1974.



– T. Hobbes, Leviatano (any edition).

– N. Bobbio, Thomas Hobbes, Torino, Einaudi.


N.B: Course-attending students are free to agree upon different requested readings with the teacher.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods

The course will consist of frontal lessons; sources will be commented and discussed and the history of moral philosophy synthetically reconstructed. Teacher-led discussions will be encouraged.

Assessment methods

1. During the course there are three partial tests, at the conclusion of the discussion of each author. Optional and exclusively reserved for attending students, these tests will take place in a written way, articulated by both open and closed answers. Passing the test replaces (partly) the final interview.

2) Final viva voce. Course-attending students can discuss alternative readings with the teacher. As a preliminary step an adequate preparation must be demonstrated on the text Equality, of general introduction to the course; then we will move on to the two authors chosen by the candidate. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their knowledge of assigned texts and their ability to critically discuss authors' works and historical issues. During the interview the student will have to demonstrate an excellent knowledge of the readings and, with the aid of the secondary literature, good abilities to set historical reconstructions, relationships and comparisons between the authors and the topics addressed: only this second ability allows to acquire excellent results


Teaching tools

Required readings (see bibliography), slides.

Office hours

See the website of Riccardo Caporali