Second cycle degree in PHILOSOPHICAL SCIENCES

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: First Semester


Number of ECTS credits allocated: 9

Prerequisites: 1. Good command of English;

2. ability to analyze and discuss philosophical texts;

3. preliminary basic knowledge of ethics in general is recommended.
Examination methods: For attending students,the grading and evaluation take into account the degree of attendance, the active involvement in the general discussions, the participation to group activities in class, the oral presentations during the course as well as the final oral exam. An optional, argumentative paper can contribute to the overall evaluation. The final exam is oral. Further guidelines about the paper will be provided during the course.

For non-attending students: the exam is oral.
Course unit contents: The course focuses on contemporary virtue ethics and on notions debated within this moral perspective. Julia Annas' Intelligent Virtue (2011) will provide us with a guideline, in order to discuss a set of issues addressed in the contemporary moral debate. Among these: how is virtue to be understood? can the skill analogy help us understand the notion of virtue or will such an analogy be misleading? how is virtue connected with the notion of practical intelligence? how are character and disposition to be intended? what is 'moral luck'? how and why does this notion stem from virtue ethics? is moral virtue socially and culturally embedded? if so, how can accounts of virtue aspire to be universal? and how are they to face the objection of relativism? A series of further readings from Cultivating Virtue (ed. by N. Snow, 2015) will be selected for the discussion in class based on the background of the students. Students with a background in philosophy may choose to read essays about what it means to cultivate virtues according to Aristotle, Mill and Kant, as well as about the difficulties and objections faced by contemporary virtue ethics. Students with no previous knowledge of philosophy, may choose to read essays dealing with the possibility to make use of the notion of virtue to bridge the gap among different cultural traditions. Moreover, elements and implications of the development of virtue from a psychological standpoint might be taken into consideration for discussion.