First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP5074257, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
LE0614, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination MORAL PHILOSOPHY
Department of reference Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ROMANA BASSI M-FIL/03

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines M-FIL/03 Moral Philosophy 9.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 63 162.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/10/2017
End of activities 19/01/2018
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2008 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
3 commissioni a.a. 2018-2019 01/10/2018 30/11/2019 BASSI ROMANA (Presidente)
2 MORAL PHILOSOPHY 2017 01/10/2017 30/11/2018 BASSI ROMANA (Presidente)
1 MORAL PHILOSOPHY 2016/2017 01/10/2016 30/11/2017 BASSI ROMANA (Presidente)
BIASUTTI FRANCO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: 1. Good command of English;

2. ability to analyze and discuss philosophical texts;

3. preliminary basic knowledge of ethics in general is recommended.
Target skills and knowledge: A. knowledge of virtue ethics, its main traits, its implications and problems, its challenges and aspects open to discussion in the contemporary debate;

B. ability to "close read" contemporary philosophical texts;

C. ability to express and present philosophical problems and arguments in English with clarity, linguistic correctness and precision;

D. ability to develop a conceptual analysis of premises and arguments, to identify the thesis in a philosophical text;

E. ability of synthesis (summarizing a philosophical position, defining a concept);

F. ability to discuss philosophical thesis, providing sound arguments, judgement and critical assessment;

G. ability to bring into the discussion of a philosophical text references and links to the contemporary and past philosophical tradition.
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.
Assessment criteria: Both for attending and non-attending students, both for oral presentations/exam and for papers the evaluation criteria are based on the assessment of:

- ability of analysis,

- ability of synthesis,

- ability to discuss philosophical arguments,

- ability to provide critical judgement, objections and counter-arguments.
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.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Close reading of the text, conceptual analysis, frontal lessons, in-depth guided discussions, group work and oral presentations.
Additional notes about suggested reading: In case this is impossible, they should get in contact with the professor during office hours in order to discuss a special programme. In general, non-attending students will include in their readings also a choice of readings from:

Rebecca L. Walker and Philip J. Ivanhoe, Working Virtue. Virtue Ethics and Contemporary moral Problems, Oxford, oxford university Press, 2007

Christine Swanton, The Virtue Ethics of Hume and Nietzsche, Wiley, 2015

A preliminary text about virtue ethics (for students lacking a background in philosophy) is: Stan van Hooft, Understanding Virtue Ethics, Chesham, Acumen, 2006.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Annas, Julia, Intelligent virtue. Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2011. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Snow, Nancy, Cultivating Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology, edited by Nancy E. Snow. New York [etc.]: Oxford University Press, 2015. (a selection of 3 essays must be read) Cerca nel catalogo