Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0497 (AF:357596 AR:202026)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
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Philosophy of History is a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy course. Its objective is to provide the student with the knowledge and the critical tools to relate philosophical thoughts to historical facts. The goal is to verify the possibility of an interpretation of history, and to allow the students to develop critical awareness in relation to the past and the present of the cultural contexts in which they have to take responsibility and take on an active role.
Regular attendance and diligent individual study will allow students to:
a. gain an in-depth knowledge of basic philosophical terminology and understand the texts in which it is used;
b. understand the discipline’s fundamental issues and paths both from a conceptual point of view and from a historical point of view, which means to study them intelligently, grasping their sense and articulation;
c. develop independent judgment for evaluating such issues;
d. be able to critically analyze the texts proposed by the teacher;
e. demonstrate good oral and written presentation skills, in order to be able to elaborate a philosophical argument using appropriate terms;
f. finally, because it is a moral discipline, students should be aware that this course is not aimed at mere acquisition of knowledge, but also at developing a philosophical practice, as was the case in antiquity. Therefore, the course focuses on the issue of the construction of the self in philosophy as a way of life and as a way of thinking.
The only prerequisite is to have a solid cultural foundation.
“A human being’s eternal dignity lies precisely in this, that he can gain a history” (S. Kierkegaard, Either/Or).

Freedom of choice is a central category in the thought of Søren Kierkegaard, both in his philosophy of existence and his philosophy of history. It is treated in different ways in the three stages of existence with which the Danish philosopher structures human experience. Freedom is denied by the aesthete in the name of destiny, which defies every human design; it is affirmed by the ethicist as a necessity in the moral development of the self and its projection in the world; it is problematized by the Christian in the dialectic of faith that corresponds to a God active in history and the world, which ultimately points beyond history and the world.
Students who have attended the course should choose one of the following Kierkegaard’s works:

S. Kierkegaard, Il riflesso del tragico antico nel tragico moderno, tr. it. di L. Liva, il melangolo, Genova 2012;
S. Kierkegaard, L’equilibrio tra l’estetico e l’etico nell’elaborazione della personalità, in Enten-Eller. Un frammento di vita, tomo V, tr. it. di A. Cortese, Adelphi, Milano 1989;
S. Kierkegaard, Timore e tremore, tr. it. di C. Fabro, BUR, Milano 1998;
S. Kierkegaard, Briciole filosofiche, tr. it. di U. Regina, Morcelliana, Brescia 2012.

Additional readings:
Students should also choose one of the following texts:

I. Adinolfi, Studi sull'interpretazione kierkegaardiana del cristianesimo, il melangolo, Genova 2012;
I. Adinolfi, Il segreto di Abramo. Una lettura mistica di "Timore e tremore", il melangolo, Genova 2018;
G. Garff, SAK. Søren Aabye Kierkegaard. Una biografia, Castelvecchi, Roma 2013;
C. Stephen Evans, Kierkegaard: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, New York 2009;
K. Harries, Between nihilism and faith : a commentary on Either/or, De Gruyter, Berlin/New York 2010.
The evaluation will be based on a oral exam. The assessment will concern the knowledge and the clear exposition of themes and problems of the course.
The teaching is organized in a series of lectures.
Ca' Foscari applies Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding support services and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). If you have a disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 21/07/2022