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CODE 65038
SEMESTER 2° Semester


The 25^ World Congress of Philosophy will be held in Rome in 2024 and will have as general topic “Thinking beyond frontiers”. It will be an opportunity to strengthen professional relationships, to promote philosophical education and to offer a contribution with respect to the great issues and challenges of our time.  Moreover, it will be an occasion to open up to other ideas, languages, cultures, and sensibilities for the younger generations. This course offers students a critical analysis (1) of the main thinkers in the last two centuries and (2) of the most discussed themes in the recent philosophical debate. It aims at furnishing the suitable skills in order to be involved with autonomy in this field. The historiographical criteria will be made explicit paying attention to the context of the texts that will be studied in depth.




Getting acquainted with the major currents in contemporary philosophy: hermeneutics, analytical philosophy, philosophy of science, practical philosophy, post-structuralism, postmodern philosophy. Students will analyze in detail the thought and work of one or more authors.


This teaching offers students the essential historical and philosophical instruments to appreciate contemporary thought with a good degree of autonomy.


A student’s profile expected at the end of this teaching can be expressed through the following 5 learning outcomes:

1) Knowledge and understanding. Knowledge of the most important periods, currents and figures which have characterized the Western philosophical thought from the Nineteenth century to nowadays. Understanding the basic argumentative strategies and the development of the specific lexicon in this period

2) Applying knowledge and understanding. Knowing how to contextualize the main articulation of contemporary philosophy in an adequate manner, reading the classics of the Eighteenth-Nineteenth centuries thought and providing a founded interpretation, making the historiographical criteria used clear

3) Making judgements. Acquiring critical consciousness through the reading of the texts of contemporary thinkers and of present philosophical currents

4) Communication skills. Improving the mastery of the specific lexicon of contemporary philosophy, re-elaborating it in relation to different contexts of discussion, both scientific and popular

5) Learning skills. Increasing an autonomy for investigation in the historical-philosophical field, learning to master the conceptual instruments and the classics of contemporary thought, useful to the professional activity in order to become teacher, researcher or staff emplyee.


A basic knowledge of the history of contemporary philosophy, a familiarity with the main authors of the Eighteenth and of the Nineteenth centuries and, at least partly, of the themes they deal with are welcome


Issues in Contemporary Thought is a course made up of 40 hours, shared out as follows:


6 hours will be dedicated to introducing students to the themes and to the general methodologies of the course through traditional lectures

10 hours will be dedicated to studying in depth single fields from an historical point of view, having recourse to traditional lectures, spaced out discussions and dialogues prompted by the reading of relevant texts or by the illustration of iconographical material

10 hours will be used to analyse philosophical currents and the thinkers who belong to them. The possibility to offer the class presentations (e.g. power point) arranged with the lecturer will be gave to the students.

14 hours for the monographic investigation through a seminar work on the notion of Antropocene. An innovative methodology will be adopted in order to increase interactive learnings. 


After a presentation of the historiographical criteria of the Anglo-American analytic authors, the schedule of the teaching provides the discussion of the following currents, paying attention to the context of their beginning and making reference to the resemblances, to the differences and to the relationship between them:

  • Bentham’s and Mill’s utilitarianism
  • European philosophy after Hegel
  • the influence of the economic and evolutionist theories
  • America pragmatism
  • logical positivism
  • the origin and the development of analytic philosophy
  • the philosophical schools in continental Europe until Habermas


Concerning the historical treatment of cross-themes, five of the following fields will be taken into consideration, paying attention to the interests of the students:

  • logic
  • philosophy of language
  • epistemology
  • ontology and metaphysics
  • philosophy of mind
  • ethics
  • aesthetics
  • political philosophy
  • philosophy of religion


In this academic year a further study will regard the notion of Anthropocene, proposed in the geological field, but which soon became a category used to describe the contemporary world and to take a stand on relevant anthropological and ethical issues.


A. Kenny, Nuova storia della filosofia occidentale. Filosofie dell’età contemporanea, Einaudi, Torino 2013

M. Damonte, S. Langella, M. Massaro (eds.), Antropocene e bene comune: tra nuove tecnologie,  nuove epistemologie e nuovi virus, Genoa University Press, Genova 2021

M. Damonte, Un contributo alla storiografia della filosofia analitica, in R. Davies (a cura di), Analisi. Annuario della Società Italiana di Filosofia Analitica 2011, Mimesis, Milano-Udine 2011, pp. 331-342


Exam Board







20 February 2023




Oral exam through a single interview scheduled after the end of the lessons. It concerns themes dealt with during the course. Students who have attended the course (at least 26 hours) or that have produced a presentation and that have actively participated in the debates proposed during lessons will be exonerated from some part of the syllabus.


During the oral exam the level of the knowledge of the themes discussed and the skill of autonomous processing of the proposed content will be checked. In particular evaluation will be based on:

  • quality of the exposition as effectiveness and fluency (max. 5/30)
  • correctness and appropriateness of the specific lexicon (max. 5/30)
  • ability concerning the critical thinking and its usage reacting to possible objections (max. 5/30)
  • skills in correctly setting the authors and the texts studied in their historical-cultural context (max. 10/30)
  • skills in personal processing and integrating the subjects of the course with competences that the candidate already possessed  (max. 5/30)


Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
16/01/2023 15:00 GENOVA Orale
30/01/2023 15:00 GENOVA Orale
08/05/2023 15:00 GENOVA Orale
22/05/2023 15:00 GENOVA Orale
19/06/2023 15:00 GENOVA Orale
20/07/2023 15:00 GENOVA Orale
04/09/2023 15:00 GENOVA Orale


Literature for possible wider study and material for participating in the seminar sessions will be furnished by the lecturer during lessons and will be published on AulaWeb.

For Erasmus students the following other language bibliography can be useful:

A. Kenny, A New History of Western Philosophy. Vol. IV. Philosophy in the Modern World, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2007

A. McGrath, Inventing the Universe. Why We Can't Stop Talking About Science, Faith and God, Hodder & Stoughton, 2015

Students who cannot attend lessons can get in touch with the lecturer (e-mail:; 010-2099775).