84993 - Philosophy and Phenomenology of Experience (1)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Life on land Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student is able to identify some of the key moments of philosophical thought and to adopt a synoptic view of them. He is able to place the philosophers in their historical context and to understand their thinking in contemporary philosophical discourse. He knows the problematic nature of the concepts of meaning, reference and truth.

Course contents

Course title:
The Phenomenology of experience in Ludwig Wittgenstein: On Certainty

«I have studied Wittgenstein much more strongly than Popper. And rightly so, since Wittgenstein is a true philosopher, while Popper is only an ambitious school teacher».

(Paul K. Feyerabend)

Since the Tractatus, Wittgenstein has dealt with problems involving phenomena and their role within the experience, but it is only from the end of the twenties, after the encounter with Brouwer's intuitionism, that these problems take on a central role in his thought. The text that we will examine is On Certainty, the so-called "third masterpiece" of Wittgenstein, after the Tractatus and the Philosophical Investigations. This is the last great Wittgensteinian writing, belonging to the last years of his life (1949-1951). It develops the themes already addressed in the Blue Book and in the Philosophical Investigations, and is, mainly, a comparison with George Edward Moore's theses in defense of common sense. We will analyze the semantic and pragmatic aspects that Wittgenstein highlights regarding our experience and knowledge of reality.

Distribution of topics in lectures:

 Of the 15 lectures available:

1 will be dedicated to a historical-philosophical introduction;
2 will be dedicated to clarifying the main Wittgenstein's concepts;
12 will be dedicated to commenting and discussing Wittgenstein's text.

Start of lectures and place

  • The lectures will begin on Monday, September 20, 2021, in classroom B, via Zamboni 34 (Monday, Tuesday), classroom IV, via Zamboni 38 (Wednesday), from 3 to 5 pm.


Preliminary warning: "ATTENDING" means both those attending face-to-face lectures and those attending online lectures; for "NON ATTENDING" those who do not fall into either of the above two cases. Therefore, those who use only the recorded lectures are considered "non-attending".

Obligatory readings for all Students:

  • Ludwig Wittgeinstein, On Certainty, Einaudi, Turin 1978 (or other Editions) (The text will be available in the "teaching material"). 
  • Explanatory notes provided by the teacher (progressively available in the "teaching material").
  • NOTE: All Lectures will be recorded, made available and downloadable. At the beginning of the course, a link will be placed on this page from which students can download the lectures.

Optional readings for attending Students:

 note: this is just an indication. To pass the exam with maximum marks, obligatory readings are sufficient and, above all, the teaching material prepared by the teacher):

  • L. Perissinotto, Introduzione a Wittgenstein, il Mulino, Bologna 2018.
  • D. Marconi, Guida a Wittgenstein, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2002.

Readings for non-attending Students:

  • L. Perissinotto, Introduzione a Wittgenstein, il Mulino, Bologna 2018 (obligatory).
  • D. Marconi, Guida a Wittgenstein, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2002 (optional).

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures; discussion on the main topics treated in the course. Reading and commentary of texts.All Lectures will be recorded, made available and downloadable.

Assessment methods

Oral test with verification of specific historical and philosophical knowledge and of the level of assimilation and processing critical-conceptual content (See "Evaluation board". Each entry of the board has a maximum of 10 points, for a total of 30 + possible laude).

Assessment criteria and thresholds of evaluation:

30 cum laude: Excellent as to knowledge, terminology and critical expression.

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

27-29: Good, knowledge comprehensive and satisfactory, essentially correct expression .

24-26: Fairly good, knowledge present in significant points, but not complete and not always expressed with correctness.

21-23: Sufficient, knowledge is sometimes superficial, but the guiding general thread is included. Expression and articulation incomplete and often not appropriate

18-21:.Almost sufficient, but knowledge present only on the surface. The guiding principle is not included with continuity. The expression and articulation of the speech show important gaps.

<18: Not sufficient, knowledge absent or very incomplete, lack of guidance in discipline, expression seriously deficient. Exam failed.


Teaching tools

Overhead projector connected with PC

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Luca Guidetti