Academic Year 2021/2022 - 1° Year - Curriculum Agenzie educative e formative
Teaching Staff: Rosa Loredana CARDULLO
Credit Value: 6
Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
Taught classes: 36 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

Title of the course 2021/2022: Eros, Beauty and philosophy as a way of life in Plato.

The course in Filosofia e formazione dell'uomo nell'antichità is aimed at an in-depth study of the initial phase of the history of philosophy (6th century B.C.-6th century A.D.) and the reading of a classical text belonging to this phase of thought.

In particular, students who have already acquired a knowledge of the History of Philosophy and some basic elements of the History of Ancient Philosophy through the optional course of Educazione e filosofia nel mondo greco, will learn, through the Filosofia e formazione dell'uomo nell'antichità course, the peculiarities of ancient philosophy, understood as a way of life or a lifestyle rather than as mere "philosophical discourse", and its tendency to form rather than inform the man, according to what is known as the particular historiographical interpretation of Pierre Hadot. Through the teaching of Filosofia e formazione dell'uomo nell'antichità, students will learn how to read an ancient philosophical text, whose specific characteristics differentiate it from a modern or contemporary philosophical text, requiring from the reader a different methodological approach.

The primary educational objectives are therefore the following: to deepen the history of ancient philosophy, from its origins to Neoplatonism, according to Pierre Hadot's particular historiographical interpretation of ancient philosophy as a "way of life" and to learn how to read and comment on an ancient philosophical text.

Another important objective of this course is to enable students who wish to choose the professional option of higher education to acquire the credits and requirements necessary for participation in the A18 and A19 competitions.

Course Structure

The course will be divided into two distinct but interconnected parts.

I. The first part, dedicated to the historical-theoretical exposition of the various phases of ancient thought in Hadot's interpretation, will be carried out through some frontal lessons held by prof.ssa Cardullo and a seminar activity carried out by the PhD students Myriam Lazzaro and Nunziatina Sanfilippo. The aim of this first part of the course is to teach the student to:

1. locate the various philosophical schools and trends

2. to periodise correctly

3. analyse key words by understanding their etymology and semantic evolution

4. verify the particularity of ancient thought respect to modern and contemporary philosophy

5. Identify the specificities of ancient philosophy through the studies of Pierre Hadot (subject of the workshop seminars).

In the second part or monographic part, the Platonic dialogue of the Symposium will be read and commented in the classroom, in an edition recommended by the teacher, edited by M. Nucci. On which see:

Detailed Course Content

The course is divided into two parts. The contents of the institutional course are those indicated in the index of the Manual used (P. Hadot, What is ancient philosophy?), reported below:

Introduction: - Part one: The Platonic definition of the philosopher and his antecedents. I. Philosophy before philosophy. II. The appearance of the concept of "philosophizing". III. The figure of Socrates. IV. THE FIGURE OF SOCRATES. The definition of the philosopher in Plato's "Symposium. - Part Two: Philosophy as a way of life. v. Plato and the Academy. VI. Aristotle and his school. VII. The Hellenistic Schools. VIII. The Philosophical Schools in the Imperial Age. IX. Philosophy and Philosophical discourse. - Part Three: Fracture and Continuity. The Middle Ages and modern times. X. Christianity as revealed philosophy. XI. Disappearances and reappearances of the ancient conception of philosophy. XII. Issues and Perspectives. - Chronology. - Bibliography. - Index of Names. - Index of concepts.

The second part of the course includes an annotated reading, in the classroom, of Plato's Symposium

A study on Pierre Hadot's particular historiographical interpretation of ancient philosophy will be analized through some seminarial activities

Textbook Information

I. Historical-theoretical aspect of ancient philosophy:

1. Pierre Hadot, Che cos'è la filosofia antica, Einaudi, Torino 2010 (

A choise among following texts:

2. Pierre Hadot, La filosofia come modo di vivere, Einaudi, Torino, 2008

3. Pierre Hadot, L'insegnamento degli antichi, l'insegnamento dei moderni. L'ultima conversazione con Pierre Hadot. A cura di Arnold I. Davidson e Fréderic Worms, ETS, Pisa, 2010.

Classic Text to read and comment: Platone, Simposio, traduzione di Matteo Nucci, introduzione di Bruno Centrone, Einaudi, Torino, 2014

N.B. No other edition is ammitted