39423 - History of Modern Philosophy (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The lectures allow the student to interpret the significant nodes of European thought in the fifteenth and eighteenth Centuries and to identify intersections with other areas of Western culture. Skills about the main interpretation and historiographical lines in order to modern philosophy and the concept of modernity, allow to recognize topics and themes' projections of modern thought in the contemporary philosophical debate, and to proceed retrospectively to the origin of subjects and long-running problems.

Course contents

The Doctrine of method and the architecture of reason
Kant & towards Kant
I module

The "transcendental doctrine of method" (the second section of the Critique of Pure Reason) allows us to define a goal in the discussion on the method during  the modern age.
The analysis of the architectural problems and the foundations of the Kantian philosophical system (second module) allows us to identify the "constructive" tendency of the seventeenth-eighteenth-century philosophical systems (first module).

The first module of the course will focus on the various reform requests of the "inventive" and "demonstrative" method and the architectural aspects of knowledge between the fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries (Cues, Bacon, Descartes, Leibniz).


Students are expected to know:

a) one of the following treaties (students who have not attended classes should choose and read three treaties)

- N. Cusano, Le congetture, in Opere filosofiche, teologiche e matematiche, Milano, Bompiani, 2017, pp. 310-519
- F. Bacon, Della dignità e del progresso delle scienze, solo il Libro VI, in Opere filosofiche, a cura di E. De Mas, Bari, Laterza, 1965, vol. II, pp. 284-369.
- R. Descartes, Discorso sul metodo, ed. a cura di A. Carlini, Bari, Laterza, 1954 (e successive ristampe) oppure taduzione di M. Garin e Introduzione di T. Gregory, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1998
-G. W. Leibniz, antologia di testi in M. Mugnai, Leibniz e la logica simbolica, Firenze, Sansoni, pp. 29-90

 b) E. Cassirer, Storia della filosofia moderna. Il problema della conoscenza nella filosofia e nella scienza, II, Da Bacone a Kant, t. I, Torino, Einaudi, 1953

c) one of the following essays (students who have not attended classes should choose and read two essays):

- P. Rossi, Francesco Bacone. Dalla magia alla scienza, Torino, Einaudi, 1957 (ed ed. successive)
- S. Landucci, La mente in Cartesio, Milano, Angeli, 2002
- M. Mugnai, Introduzione alla filosofia di Leibniz, Torino, Einaudi, 2001
- P. Basso, Il secolo geometrico: la questione del metodo matematico in filosofia da Spinoza a Kant, Firenze, Le Lettere 2004

Teaching methods

15 lectures.
During the course central paragraphs of the listed texts iwill be read and  and compared with some sources and some critical interpretations of later philosophers.  Students are required to provide the text before the course begins.
Summaries and schemes of the classes will be periodically uploaded on AlmaDigital Library.
Students who attend classes are required to enroll, before the course begins, to the distribution list, ID: annarita.angelini.architettonica, password:architettonica
We recommend the students to see regulary the teacher's web page on which will be uploaded any information and change useful to those who attending the classes.
Students who have attended classes can replace the above texts with specific topics. These topics have to be agreed with the teacher at the end of the course.

Assessment methods

Oral examination: Students are recommended to bring the texts when examining.The interview focuses mainly on analysis and critical interpretation of the sources.
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

The texts  is an essential tool in order to actively participate in the classes. It is recommended to get hold of the text before classes.
The summaries of the lectures will be periodically (every three to six lectures) uploaded and allowed to the online consultation. Students have to enroll to the distribution list ID: annarita.angelini.specchio, password: architettonica

Office hours

See the website of Annarita Angelini