20710181 - HISTORY OF ENLIGHTENMENT PHILOSOPHY

The course of History of philosophy of the Enlightenment is part of the program in Philosophy (BA level) and is included among the characterising training activities.
Upon completion of the course, students are expected to know the basic issues of the Enlightenment’s philosophy in relation to one or more theoretical debates that characterize it, and to their historical-cultural contextualization.
Furthermore they will have read in part or in whole one or more canonical texts of the Enlightenment thought (Locke, Hume, Condillac, Diderot, Voltaire, Rousseau etc.) and they will have focused on the basic issues and debates connected to it.
Students will be able to apply the acquired knowledge to discuss and to develop arguments both in a theoretical and in a historical perspective.
Students are expected to acquire the following skills:
- Critical thinking on the Enlightenment’s philosophy and on its relation to wider issues (both historical and philosophical);
- Language and argumentation skills required in order to deal with the topics covered in the course.
- Basic capacity to read and analyse Enlightenment philosophical texts (in translation).

PIAZZA MARCO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Programme

The course has its focus in the analysis of the doctrine of personal identity presented by Hume in his "Treatise on Human Nature", showing its relevance in the contemporary debate. The first teaching module focuses on Humean doctrine, which, by radically rejecting any form of substantialism, radicalizes Locke’s position, questioning not only the continuity in time of the self or person, but even its unity in a given moment of time. Hume thus reduces the «Self» to a «bundle of perceptions», that is to a series of perceptions distinct from each other and without continuity in time, in fact proposing to conceive the ego as a «fiction» on the level of the theory of the mind, albeit preserving its unity as the object of the mere «feeling» for the purpose of its application in the moral field. Belief in personal identity is therefore a useful tool for effectively directing practical life. The second didactic module shows how Hume’s perspective has a remarkable vitality in the field of recent philosophy of mind. To this proposal will be illustrated some emblematic positions such as those of Derek Parfit, Thomas Metzinger and Julian Baggini.

Core Documentation

1. David Hume, Trattato sulla natura umana, with original english text, Milan, Bompiani, 2001, passim (in particular: book 1, part IV, sect. VI).
2. Lorenzo Greco, L’identità personale in David Hume: dalle passioni all’etica, in «Thaumàzein», 2, 2014, pp. 247-264 (available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.13136/thau.v2i0.26.g27).
3. One text form the following list:
- Derek Parfit, Ragioni e persone, Part Three, It. tr., Milan, Il Saggiatore, 1984, pp. 257-444.
- Thomas Metzinger, Il tunnel dell'io, Chap. 1-3, It. tr., Milan, Raffaello Cortina, 2010, pp. 1-132.
- Juian Baggini, The Ego Trick, Part I-II, London, Granta, 2011, pp. 1-175.

Reference Bibliography

On philosophy of the Enlightenment: D. Outram, Illuminismo, new edition with integrations, It. tr., Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020. M. Mori, S. Veca (a cura di), Illuminismo. Storia di un'idea plurale, Rome, Carocci, 2019. E. Tortarolo, Illuminismo. Ragioni e dubbi della modernità, new edition, Rome, Carocci, 2020. U.D.1: M. Piazza, "Strategie e aporie dell'identità. Tra Agostino e Proust", in M. Marraffa (ed.), Identità e persona, Rome, Istituto Italiano Studi Germanici, 2017, pp. 15-51. L. Greco, L'io morale. David Hume e l'etica contemporanea, Naples, Liguori, 2008. F. Laudisa, Hume, Rome, Carocci, 2009 (second edition: 2016). U.D.2: M. Di Francesco, A. Tomasetta, "Mente cosciente e identità personale", in «Atque», 13, 2013, pp. 105-130. M. Marraffa, C. Meini, L'identità personale, new edition, Rome, Carocci, 2021 (in press).

Type of delivery of the course

The course includes: • Frontal teaching; • Discussions with students and debates on the topics covered; • At least one seminar related to the topics covered in the course. In the case of an extension of the health emergency by COVID-19 all the provisions governing the conduct of teaching activities and student evaluation will be implemented. In particular, the following modalities will apply: distance learning through the University platforms; oral examinations at a distance through the Microsoft Teams platform.

Attendance

Attendance is not mandatory.

Type of evaluation

Verification of learning takes place through an oral test. In relation to the texts listed in points 1,2 and 3, the preparation of a written paper of 2,500 words to be discussed during the examination is required.The paper must be sent to the teacher at least 15 days before the oral test (exam). In the case of an extension of the health emergency by COVID-19 all the provisions governing the conduct of teaching activities and student evaluation will be implemented. In particular, the following modalities will apply: distance learning through the University platforms; oral examinations at a distance through the Microsoft Teams platform.