History of Philosophy (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Maria Cecilia Barbetta
Maria Cecilia Barbetta
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Semester 2 dal Feb 26, 2018 al Jun 9, 2018.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The purpose of the course is to introduce the students to
- some essential concepts of the modern historical-philosophical thinking
- the meaning of the philosophical terminology
- the critical approach of a literary text
At the end of the teaching students will be able to
- deal fluently with philosophical history
- understand the philosophical texts studied during the course
- use in an actual contest the themes debated
- express an independent opinion on the critical matter in the text
- communicate with enough clarity the studied topics


The course will point out some of the most important steps in modern and contemporary historical-philosophical thinking (from Kant to Heidegger, with the necessary Greek references) with particular focus on the relationship between thinking ad acting, using the writings of Hannah Arendt.
After a brief description of the philosophical and biographical path of Hannah Arendt, in the historical and cultural contest, lectures will go on by reading and discussing some of the pages in the exam schedule.
Finally, a recent text of Ermanno Bencivenga, which hypothesizes the risk that thinking ability itself may nowadays dissolve, will offer an opportunity for debating about contemporary issues.
Lessons will be held in the second semester with frontal teaching mode.

- H. ARENDT, Vita activa. La condizione umana, Milano, Bompiani, 2008 [chosen extracts];
- H. ARENDT, La vita della mente, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2009 [chosen extracts];
- H. ARENDT, Martin Heidegger ha ottant’anni, in H. ARENDT, M. HEIDEGGER, Lettere 1925-1975 e altre testimonianze, Torino, Edizioni di Comunità, 2001, pp. 138-149;
- E. BENCIVENGA, La scomparsa del pensiero. Perché non possiamo rinunciare a ragionare con la nostra testa, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2017;
- M.C. BARBETTA, “Perdono” e “promessa” in Vita activa di Hannah Arendt, in Alla ricerca di un ethos tra mente e corpo, a cura di G. Erle, Verona, Edizioni universitarie Cortina, 2016, pp. 87-100.
At the beginning of the course specific indication of the chosen extracts will be given, extracts which will be available in photocopy.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Bencivenga, Ermanno La scomparsa del pensiero (Edizione 1) Feltrinelli 2017 978-88-07-17320-2
Arendt, Hannah La vita della mente (Edizione 1) Il Mulino 2009 978-88-15-12805-8
Arendt Hannah Vita activa. La condizione umana Bompiani 1988

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam. The exam has the goal of prove the knowledge and the comprehension of the studied topics, contained in the texts listed in the bibliography. There are no differences between attending and non-attending students.