Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0144 (AF:378463 AR:211852)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Term
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This course takes place in the first period (September/October), as the first part of the most comprehensive 12 CFU course. The second part takes place in the second period (November / December).
It is fundamental within the more general field of history of philosophy. Not only will we face the main protagonists and theories of the Greek and Roman world, but starting from the texts we will attempt a direct confrontation with the most current problems and developments of Western thought.
Teaching will proceed according to the following path:
A) Probing, in a theoretic-problematic way, some topics of ancient philosophy
B) Studying of a specific theme and setting up of a scientifically correct and effective analysis method
C) Reading of texts in their original language and in translation
D) Participating in seminar activities and perfecting of the dialectical technique
E) Comparison with the contemporary developments of some ethical and metaphysical topics.
Through a careful reflection on the texts and the common discussion of the main evidences the student will acquire the skills necessary to master the tools of philosophical research and increase the knowledge of the modern European philosophical tradition.
The success on the course of «History of Ancient Philosophy» (bachelor), and/or of «History of Roman and Late Ancient Philosophy» (bachelor) is suggested.
A basic knowledge of the History of Ancient Philosophy is required.
A basic knowledge of classical languages is also desirable.
General theme:
The foundations of Western metaphysical thought: Plato, Aristotle, Stoicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism, and their presence today.
A) - S. Maso, Lingua philosophica Graeca, Milano : Mimesis 2010

B) - A. Kenny, Nuova storia della filosofia occidentale Vol I: Filosofia antica, Torino : Einaudi, 2012, capp. I-2.
- P.L. Donini - F. Ferrari, L'esercizio della ragione nel mondo classico. Profilo della filosofia antica, Torino : Einaudi, 2005

C) Classics:
- Aristotele, La metafisica. A scelta: l'edizione con traduzione di G. Reale (Milano : Bompiani); oppure quella di E. Berti (Roma-Bari : Laterza)
- Platone, Tutti gli scritti. A cura di G. Reale (Milano : Rusconi)
- Stoici Antichi (Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta), raccolti da H. von Armin, a cura di R. Radice, Milano : Rusconi
- Epicuro, Lettere sulla fisica, sul cielo e sulla felicità. Testo greco a fronte, a cura di N. Russello, Milano: Rizzoli

D) Secondary literature: two of the following essays:
- S. Maso, Providential Disorder in Plato's Timaeus, "Peitho" 1.9 (2018), ISSN 2082-7539 pp. 37-52
- C. Natali, Aristotele e il determinismo, in E. Spinelli (a cura di) Libero arbitrio. Storia di una controversia filosofica, Roma : Carocci 2014, pp. 18-30
- J. Dudley, Chance and Aristotle’s Rejection of Determinism, in Aristotle’s Concept of Chance, New-York, SUNY Press, 271-324
- S. Maso, La filosofia stoica e la questione del “libero arbitrio”, in C. Tugnoli (a cura di), Libero arbitrio. Teorie e prassi della libertà, Napoli, Liguori editore 2014. (ISBN 9788820753306), pp. 157-183
- F. Alesse, La rappresentazione catalettica nella Stoa post-crisippea, "Lexicon philosophicum", 2018 (special issue), 145-168.
- E. Spinelli, L’antico intrecciarsi degli scetticismi, in M. De Caro e E. Spinelli, Scetticismo. Una vicenda filosofica, Roma, Carocci 2007, pp. 271-290.

E) The proposed chapters of one of the following volumes;
- F. Trabattoni, La filosofia di Platone, Carocci editore, 2020: (Cap. 9: “L'uomo, il corpo e l'anima”; cap. 10 “L'amore platonico e l'educazione dell'anima”).
- F. Ferrari, Introduzione a Platone, Il Mulino, Bologna 2018 (Cap. 4, “il sapere del filosofo”; cap. 6: “I meccanismi della persuasione”)
- W. W. Fortenbaugh, Aristotle on Emotion, London, Duckworth 2008 (Chap. 1: “Aristotle’s analysis of emotional response; chap. 3: “Consequences for political theory)
- M. Vegetti, F. Ademollo, Incontro con Aristotele, Einaudi, Torino 2016 (cap. 10: “Il vivente e l’anima”; cap. 13: “Poetica e retorica”).
- - A.A. Long, From Epicurus to Epictetus, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 2006 (chap. 3: “Aristotle and the History of Greek Scepticism; chap. 8: “Chance and Laws of Nature in Epicureanism”).
The student has to show a detailed knowledge of the historical period concerning Ancient Philosophy. A deep knowledge of the main philosophical topics is required.
His preparation will be tested through: Oral conversation.
Discussion of the texts studied during the lectures and of the essays proposed in the bibliography.
The course is developed according to a historical and chronological, and also thematic perspective.
Occasional participation to the conferences of the Ca' Foscari's visiting professors is scheduled.
We practise lectures, a close analysis of some classical texts, and discussions of contemporary studies.
Handouts and other materials are available online. In particular, the required secondary literature essays will be available.
In connection with the course will be scheduled a few days of study in which participants include researchers from European universities. During the course lectures will be given prompt notice of this.
The course is developed in two sections; the second one is structured in a seminar way.
For more information,

Accessibility, Disability and Inclusion
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Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 20/05/2022