THEORETICAL PHILOSOPHY

iten
Code
66922
ACADEMIC YEAR
2021/2022
CREDITS
6 credits during the 2nd year of 10841 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES (L-19) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
M-FIL/01
LANGUAGE
Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES)
semester
2° Semester
Prerequisites
Prerequisites
You can take the exam for this unit if you passed the following exam(s):
  • PEDAGOGICAL SCIENCES AND EDUCATION 8750 (coorte 2020/2021)
  • CRITICAL THINKING AND ARGUMENTATION 94694
  • EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES 10841 (coorte 2020/2021)
  • CRITICAL THINKING AND ARGUMENTATION 94694
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

This course aims to introduce to theoretical philosophy, starting from the question of human nature and presenting the most relevant methods of philosophical research. Contemporary  questions are put in relation to other forms of knowledge and in comparison with conceptual models offered by the philosophical tradition. This learning-teaching activity is intended to make the contents, the argumentative techniques and the ways of reasoning in use in contemporary philosophy familiar to the student.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students will receive essential information about the contemporary discussion on human nature and on the most relevant concepts involved in it. They will be expected to acquire the capacity to reflect in a critical way about philosophical issues, and use suitable vocabulary to discuss concrete cases and examples. Students will learn to use their skills to build up opinions about philosophical themes founded on coherent and solid arguments. They will acquire the capacity to orient themselves in philosophical and argumentative texts in general, and to read them critically.

PREREQUISITES

No  prior knowledge of philosophy is required. Active participation is essential.

TEACHING METHODS

Unless otherwise indicated for covid-19 emergency, the lessons will be held in the traditiona face-to-face form.

The course will not consist only of lectures, introducing the main issues of the course and analyzing concepts and problems, but  requires active participation by all students. The participants will be involved in exercises of philosophical analysis and argumentation, in the clarification and discussion of philosophical concepts and concepts in common use.

The slides used during the lectures will be made available on Aulaweb.

Students with disability or other special educational needs are recommended to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and exam methods that, in compliance with the objectives of the course, take into account the individual learning approaches and provide appropriate compensatory tools.

For international students, a list of texts in English could be provided on request. The exam may be taken, in the required forms, in English, Spanish or German

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Human beings, animals, machines
"We are not machines"; "I am not an animal" - these and similar expressions are part of common language. Are they really justified, are we really able to give reasons for them? Is there something that actually distinguishes the human animal unequivocally from all other animals and from machines? One of the tasks of philosophy is to question ideas that seem natural, concepts on which we rely in our speech, transforming tacit assumptions into theses that we are able to argue (or to review critically). This task is now made more difficult by changes in scientific knowledge and technology: the knowledge we have today about non-human animals, the projects to produce artificial intelligence and even artificial consciousness, the neuroscientific investigations on the human brain make the classic question about human nature - "what is the human being?" - particularly complex. The answer we give are, nevertheless, essential for our way to act and to think. This course offers some tools that allow a first orientation about the contemporary debate on human nature, stressing its relevance for our culture and our choices.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

1) D.C. Dennett, La mente e le menti. Verso una comprensione della coscienza, Sansoni, Milano, 1997.
2) 
 J. Dupré, Natura umana. Perché la scienza non basta, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2007.

3) a third book should be chosen among following texts:

- F. de Waal, Primati e filosofi. Evoluzione e moralità, Garzanti, Milano, 2008.
- F. de Waal, La scimmia che siamo. Il passato e il futuro della natura umana, Garzanti, Milano, 2006.
- R. Bodei, Dominio e sottomissione. Schiavi, animali, macchine, Intelligenza Artificiale, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2019.
- L. Caffo, Fragile umanità. Il postumano contemporaneo, Einaudi, Torino, 2017. 
- P. Dumouchel, L. Damiano, Vivere con i robot. Saggio sull'empatia artificiale, Cortina, Milano, 2019.
- M. O'Connell, Essere una macchina, Adelphi, Milano, 2018.
- M. Rowlands, Il lupo e il filosofo, Mondadori, Milano, 2015.
- F. Cimatti, Filosofia dell’animalità, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2013.
- Y. Castelfranchi / O. Stock, Macchine come noi. La scommessa dell'Intelligenza Artificiale, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2003.
- F. Remotti, Contro natura, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2008.
- J. Barrat, La nostra invenzione finale. L'intelligenza artificiale e la fine dell'età dell''uomo, Nutrimenti, Roma, 2019.

For international students, a list of texts in English or in other languages could be provided on request.

Other texts may be indicated during the course. It is advisable to consult Aulaweb for updates.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Office hours: The office hours for students will be announced when the schedule of the lessons will be established. In the first semester and in the period of interruption of the teaching activity, reception is by appointment. It can also take place electronically on the Teams platform. For appointments please contact: claudio.larocca@unige.it Place: Room TA9 C.so Podestà 2

Exam Board

CLAUDIO LA ROCCA (President)

ALESSANDRA MODUGNO

LESSONS

TEACHING METHODS

Unless otherwise indicated for covid-19 emergency, the lessons will be held in the traditiona face-to-face form.

The course will not consist only of lectures, introducing the main issues of the course and analyzing concepts and problems, but  requires active participation by all students. The participants will be involved in exercises of philosophical analysis and argumentation, in the clarification and discussion of philosophical concepts and concepts in common use.

The slides used during the lectures will be made available on Aulaweb.

Students with disability or other special educational needs are recommended to contact the teacher at the beginning of the course to agree on teaching and exam methods that, in compliance with the objectives of the course, take into account the individual learning approaches and provide appropriate compensatory tools.

For international students, a list of texts in English could be provided on request. The exam may be taken, in the required forms, in English, Spanish or German

LESSONS START

The course will take place in the second semester. The lessons will start in the week 21-25 February 2022.

Class schedule

All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The exam will be oral and consists of an interview on the scheduled texts.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The aim of the oral exam is to assess 1) the student's ability to orient her/himself in texts; 2) the student’s capacity to identify underlying concepts and argumentative techniques; 3) the student’s capacity to understand and carry out philosophical reasoning and to address philosophical issues. It intends to verify not only knowledge but the acquisition of skills of analysis and discussion of philosophical issues.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
12/01/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30
26/01/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30
09/02/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30
25/05/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30
08/06/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30
22/06/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30
06/07/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30
07/09/2022 10:30 GENOVA Orale nel caso gli esami si svolgano in forma telematica l'orario di inizio è anticipato alle 8:30

FURTHER INFORMATION

By agreement with the teacher, foreign students will be allowed to read texts in English or in other languages. The exam can be taken in English, Spanish or German.