Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT9008 (AF:332323 AR:186941)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Course year
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The course fits into the degree course, because it aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the major philosophical-political issues today. Nonetheless, the course has not only the goal to provide an understanding of the primary and secondary bibliography related to the subject-matters, but also to frame the contemporary social, political and cultural changes in the light of the fundamental philosophical-political concepts.
By the end of the course, the students should be able to 1) understand the meaning and the scope of the concepts discussed during the course; 2) reflect critically about them; 3) apply them to the different political issues that animate our contemporary world.
Students must have a good level of general education.
Course topic:
Socialism: history and significance

The course will analyze texts which are helpful for addressing the issues brought up by socialism as modern political theory. After having studied the most important texts presented by the first socialism (Fourier, Proudhon, Owen etc.), the course will investigate the Marxian contribution to the development of the problematic inherent both to socialism and communism and its organizational outcomes (socialdemocracy, leninism). In the last part of the course, we will focus on some political theories which have revivified the contemporary discussion on socialism.

Massimo Salvadori (ed. by), Modern Socialism, Palgrave, 1968.
G. A. Cohen, Why not Socialism?, Princeton University Press, 2009.
Massimo Salvadori (ed. by), Modern Socialism, Palgrave, 1968.
G. A. Cohen, Why not Socialism?, Princeton University Press, 2009.

The following list does not cover the textbooks. It covers some texts I could mention during the lectures.

M. Foucault, The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the College De France, 1978-1979, New York: Picador, 2008.
G.W.F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Th. Hobbes, Leviathan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
K. Marx, Capital, London: Penguin, 1994.
J.J. Rousseau, The Social Contract and Other Political Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
M. Weber, Economy and Society. An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, Berkeley-Los Angeles-London: University of California Press, 2013.
The oral exam will be structured in the following way: I will ask 4 questions (each time different for each student), 3 of them on the anthology of modern socialist thought and 1 on G. A. Cohen's book, Why not Socialism? Each exam takes about 20-25 minutes.
In order to pass the exam, at least 3 out of 4 questions must be answered correctly. Each of the four answers therefore corresponds to 25% of the final grade. However, one must always bear in mind, beyond the percentage scheme, that the assessment of an examination always involves a unitary understanding of the examination, an overall assessment of your abilities.
By a correct answer, I mean both the correct rendition of the contents of the textbooks and your ability to explain them in a rich and precise manner, using philosophical terminology. All your historical and philosophical knowledge relevant to the questions asked can, of course, be used to answer them.
The textbooks and the assessment methods are not different for non attending students.
The course will be realized by using the frontal lecture as teaching method. However, the student participation will be encouraged.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 21/11/2021