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

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Roberto Brigati

  • Credits 6

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Philosophy (cod. 9216)

  • Course Timetable from Sep 21, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


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

Course contents

General Information

The Philosophy Workshop has three main purposes: education to philosophical writing and editorial conventions; introduction to the use of bibliographic resources; introduction to how to read a philosophical classic and how to produce a short philosophical essay about it.

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

Students can choose from several proposals of Philosophy Workshops (programmes and teachers’ names are available on the website of the Degree Course in Philosophy). Up to 40 students may attend each laboratory. “Attending” means both those attending face-to-face lectures and those attending online lectures.

To enrol in the I or II semester Workshops, students must send, by e-mail, an application to the chosen teacher (subject: Philosophy Workshop) between 1 and 15 September, 2021. Each teacher will accept up to 40 requests. Excess requests and those submitted after 15 September will be redistributed based on the availability of vacancies.

In the light of several unpleasant episodes of signature falsification in recent years, in the event that it is proved that even a single signature has not been made by the corresponding student, that student will be excluded from the final exam and will have to wait until the next year to attend the Workshop again. The same standards will hold for students submitting written exams which are totally or partially copied from published sources or digital texts. In the case of online attendance, the “participants” present at the lectures on Teams will be counted.

Only in the event of certified inability to attend the Workshop are students allowed to arrange an alternative programme with the relevant teacher of the module in question. Such cases include:

- working students who cannot obtain 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 their inability to attend.

- Erasmus and Overseas students. Such students must promptly provide documentary evidence to the teacher showing their inability to attend on grounds of residence abroad.

Attending and non-attending students must acquire as soon as possible the manual of philosophical writing, which can be found online on the website of the Degree Course in Philosophy.

For attending students assessment will consist in the submission and discussion of a short essay on the philosophical text discussed in the Workshop attended. The essay will be evaluated both for form and for content.


Philosophy Laboratory (1)(G.E)

The Laboratory (1)(G.E) is conducted by Prof. Roberto Brigati and it is focussed on John Maxwell Coetzee's 1999 novel The Lives of Animals, together with the four short essays by M. Garber, P. Singer, W. Doniger, and B. Smuts that are appended to the text.

Class shall start 21 September 2021. Please refer to the Italian page for a detailed schedule.


The workshop will be based on the Italian translation of Coetzee's novel:

  • John Maxwell Coetzee, La vita degli animali, a cura e con un’Introduzione di Amy Gutmann, e con Riflessioni di Marjorie Garber, Peter Singer, Wendy Doniger, Barbara Smuts, trad. it. di Franca Cavagnoli e Giacomo Arduini, Milano: Adelphi, 2000.

The original English version can be perused for deeper analysis:

  • J. M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals, edited and introduced by Amy Gutmann, with Reflections by Marjorie Garber, Peter Singer, Wendy Doniger, Barbara Smuts, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.

Please note that your task is, ideally, to find secondary sources and all further materials that can be useful for the final papers. Only in the event that libraries should be once again closed or restricted due to health emergency, I shall provide further readings and links.

Teaching methods

Please note that, as per current Unibo lines of conduct, all classes will be face-to-face. However, further information about this will be provided in due course, according to how the pandemic situation develops.

The language of this activity is Italian. Exchange students who are not fluent in Italian can contact me for further explanations in English, but I won't be able to offer extensive individual tutoring.

Class will be 11 to 13, in the following days (all 2021):

21, 23, 28, 30 September,

5, 7, 12 October,

12, 19, 23, 26, 30 November,

3, 10, 17 December.

Please refer to the Italian section for a more detailed schedule of classes.

Assessment methods

To obtain the expected ECTS, students will have to:

  • do a short presentation in the second part of the workshop (in group)
  • write a final essay of 2800 to 4000 words on topics that shall be approved by the teacher (individually).

Exchange students may write the essay in English, but the presentation will be in Italian.

Teaching tools

Slides will be available on virtuale.unibo.it.

Classes will be available for streaming on the Unibo platform. Access is restricted to students enrolled in the workshop.


Office hours

See the website of Roberto Brigati