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CODE 65038
SEMESTER 2° Semester


The XXXV World Congress of Philosophy which was held in Rome in August 2024 was dedicated to the theme "Thinking beyond borders". It was an opportunity for academic and intellectual communities from around the world to meet every five years in a different country in order to strengthen professional relationships, promote philosophical education and offer a contribution to the great questions and challenges of the own time.

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.

The course aims to promote the following transversal skills:

- Functional alphabetic competence - advanced level: ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form, adaptation of one's communication to the context, use of various sources and aids, critical thinking, ability to use, process and evaluate information, argumentative ability


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 analytic philosophy of religion. An innovative methodology will be adopted in order to increase interactive learnings.

Students will be offered the opportunity to present papers agreed with the teacher to the class through the teaching strategies of the Flipped classroom and Cooperative learning


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 an in-depth study will concern the late Putnam who, in his most recent writings, proposed an original rereading of the philosophy of religion in Wittgenstein. The analysis of his “Lectures on Religious Belief” offered Putnam the opportunity to delve deeper into the dialogic thought of Levinas, Rosenzweig and Buber. An adequate contextualization of Putnam's work within his theoretical path and his intellectual (self) biography will allow us to appreciate the originality of his interpretation and to grasp its limits.


L. Mauro, M. Marianelli (a cura di), Anima, corpo, relazioni. Storia della filosofia da una prospettiva antropologica, volume III, Città Nuova, Roma 2022

H. Putnam, Filosofia ebraica, una guida di vita. Rosenzweig, Buber, Lévinas, Wittgenstein, tr. it. a cura di M. Dell’Utri, Carocci, Roma 2011




February 2025




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.

For students with disabilities or specific learning disorders (DSA).

Students with disabilities or DSA are reminded that in order to request adaptations during the exam, they must first enter the certification on the University website on the  page in the "Students" section.


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)



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

H. Putnam, Jewish Philosophy as a Guide to Life. Rosenzweig, Buber, Lévinas, Wittgenstein, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis 2008

C. Taliaferro, s.v. Philosophy of Religion, in E.N. Zalta (gen. ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, First published Mon Mar 12, 2007; substantive revision Tue Mar 28, 2023, <>


Students who cannot attend lessons can get in touch with the lecturer (e-mail:

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