30413 - Philosophy Laboratory (1) (G.H)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

The student learns to read and critically analyze philosophical texts and to write a philosophical essay.

Course contents

General Information

The Philosophy Workshop has three goals: teaching the rules of writing and composition; an introduction on how to use bibliographic tools; an introduction on how to read a philosophy classic and the creation of a short philosophical essay on said classic.

The success of workshops is based on regular attendance of all students to all meetings In order to be admitted to the final exam and gain a pass, therefore, students will need to have attended at least 12 out of 15 classes (24 hours out of 30).

Students can choose among several proposals of Philosophy Laboratory (programs and teachers names are available on the web guide of the Degree Course of Philosophy). 35 attending students are expected for each laboratory. “Attending” means both those attending face-to-face lectures and those attending online lectures.

To enroll in the III semester Laboratories, students must send, by e-mail, the application to the chosen teacher (subject: Philosophy Laboratory). 

The last date to register for the laboratory is set for 29/01/2021.

Because of several unpleasant episodes of signature falsification occurred in the last years, in case it is proved that even a single signature has not been made by the corresponding student, such student will be excluded from the final exam and will have to wait until the next year to attend the Workshop again. For online attendings, the “participants” present at the lectures on Teams will be taken into account. The same standards will hold for students submitting written exams which are totally or partially copied from previously existing paper or digital texts. Only in case of certified impossibility to attend the Workshop students are allowed to arrange an alternative program with the corresponding teacher of the attended module. Such cases concern:

- working students who cannot obtain a specific permission to attend the Workshop. Such students must inform the teacher at the beginning of the module and prove by a declaration of their employers the impossibility of their attendance.

- Erasmus and Overseas students. Such students must promptly provide documentary evidence to the teacher showing the impossibility of their attendance due to their living abroad.

Attending and not attending students must get as soon as possible the manual of philosophical writing, which can be found on line on the web page of the Degree Course of Philosophy.

For attending students the exam will consist in the submission and discussion of a short essay on the philosophical text on which the attended Reading Workshop has been held. The essay will be assessed both concerning his form as his content.

For more detailed informations on such Workshops (period, schedules, rooms, programs, etc.) see the website of each Workshop lecturer.

The Laboratory conducted by Prof. Diego Donna will be entitled: Freedom and salvation of the mind in Spinoza.


Spinoza, Etica a cura di E. Giancotti, Roma, Editori Riuniti (1988), 1993, Parte V.

Further bibliographical information will be provided during the lesson.

Teaching methods

In the first lessons a general presentation of the contents of the workshop will be given, consisting in an investigation of the status of reason in Spinoza's philosophy in the light of the relations between mind and body in the framework of an ontology of the infinite. In the following lessons the students will be guided in the reading and analysis of the text. Students will have to discuss the parts of the Ethics analysed in the lesson and give individual or group lectures on the themes of the workshop.

The timing of these presentations will be established during the first lessons.

Assessment methods

The aim of the laboratory is to implement the use of fundamental tools for critical understanding, exposition and editing of philosophical content starting from the analysis of a classic text of the history of philosophy.

The test is divided into two parts:

1) the presentation within the course of one of the themes presented in the lesson starting from the reference text

2) the writing and presentation at the final exam of a short philosophical essay (between 3000 and 4000 words, bibliography excluded), written by the student on a philosophical aspect of the course, agreed with the teacher.

The essay will be judged on the basis of the coherence of the exhibition, the mastery of the bibliographic tools and the respect of the editorial rules learned during the lessons.

The essay must be delivered at least ten days before the date of the appeal in which the student intends to take the exam. The text can be sent to the teacher's e-mail address or delivered in hard copy.

Teaching tools

Slides and digital content will be used during the lessons.
E-learning platform.

Office hours

See the website of Diego Donna