Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Homo homini lupus? Hobbes: from philosophical psychology to political science
Homo homini lupus? Hobbes: dalla psicologia filosofica alla scienza politica

A.Y. Credits
2017/2018 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Raffaella Santi Wednesday 10.00-12.00 by appointment
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Clinical Psychology (LM-51)
Curriculum: COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

General Objective: the course is aimed at providing the historical-critical tools required to know and understand the fundamental stages of the development of scientific thought, from antiquity to the so-called “Scientific Revolution” of the 17th  century, historically contextualizing but also knowing how to evaluate the durable impact on the techno-scientific mindset of man today (general part). Furthermore, it also aims to refine the philological-hermeneutic competences required for analyzing a classical text in modern philosophical psychology, such as Hobbes’s Leviathan, observing the most important theoretical aspects and comparing them to those of other authors (monographic part).

Specific objectives:

1. to be able to understand the specific vocabulary of the discipline on a specialistic level;

2. to acquire full awareness of the historical development of the philosophy of science;

3. to acquire knowledge and awareness of the epistemological complexity of the different theories taken into account;

4. to understand, in a general sense, what associates and what differentiates ancient and medieval thought from modern thought;

5. to know how to read and understand a philosophical-scientific text, even in its original language;

6. to know how to historically  contextualize the text examined;

7. to be able to interpret and analyze the text in question on a specialistic level, identifying the underlying theories and arguments used by the author to support them;

8. to know how to compare the text in question with other related texts, identifying similarities and differences in theories and topics;

9. to be able to recognize any incongruity and inconsistency in the argumentative flow and in the ideas expressed by the author;

10. to be able to reason in a transdisciplinary sense, passing from philosophy to psychology and vice versa; 

11. to know how to formulate an autonomous opinion on the theories that emerged from the analysis of the text and whether they have a significance or not in today’s world.


The course foresees a general part, focusing on the main theories in the history of the philosophy of science from antiquity to the 17th  century, and a monographic part in which the work by Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, is analyzed, along with the philosophical psychology exposed in it, specifically:

1. an introduction to the course: themes and problems of the history of the philosophy of science;

2. the passage from mythos to logos and the birth of Greek science;

3. the theories of Plato and Aristotle;

4. beyond the Middle Ages: Bacon, Galileo, and the birth of modern science;

5. the Cartesian method;

6. ancient and modern in comparison;

7. an example of philosophical psychology: Leviathan by Hobbes (introduction to the work);

8. sense, memory, imagination, language;

9. reason and science;

10. the taxonomy of human passions;

11. the classification of sciences;

12. natural religion;

13. the state of nature of men as a conflicting state (“everyone’s war against everyone”);

14. the laws of nature and the birth of morality;

15. the construction of civil coexistence: sovereignty, authorization, State;

16. the rights and duties of the sovereign representative;

17. the liberty of citizens and civil law;

18. from “man wolf to man” to “man god to man”: the unease of civilization? Hobbes and Freud in comparison.

Bridging Courses


Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

1. Knowledge and the ability to comprehend: to have acquired, on a specialistic level, the content foreseen by the program, understanding the fundamental lines and the particular aspects, even in a comparative perspective.

2. Application of knowledge and the ability to understand: know how to apply the concepts, ideas, theories and methodologies learned, even in contexts other than the original one; to be able to also extend across a transdisciplinary level.

3. Autonomy of judgments: reflecting and thinking about the various contents learned, developing a critical, autonomous, and flexible thought; being “open-minded”: open to the complexity of what is real, with an exploratory and investigative attitude; being able to question the theories of others and also one’s own.

4. Communicative skills: to demonstrate that we have acquired a mastery of the vocabulary of discipline and to know how to use it within a speech that is internally coherent and logically structured, according to a correct sequence of topics; the argumentative capacity must be in the use of analysis and synthesis, of inductive and deductive processes, as well as in the application of rhetorical techniques, up to the remodulation of the subject according to the supposed interlocutor.

5. Learning skills: knowing how to use complementary resources available in addition to study texts – the materials entered by the lecturer in the Moodle platform, but also search engines on the web, bibliographic tools, etc. – to create a personal in-depth course.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities


Materials published in the e-platform Moodle: blended.uniurb.it

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Traditional lectures; however, students will be engaged as often as possible.


It's not compulsory.

Course books

1. David Oldroyd, Storia della filosofia della scienza. Da Platone a Popper, Net, Milano 2002: only pages 1-132.

2. Stephen Shapin, La rivoluzione scientifica, Einaudi, Torino 2003 (all).

3. Thomas Hobbes, Leviatano, a cura di Arrigo Pacchi, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2011 (or previous editions): only Chapters I-XXXI.


Oral exam.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Didactic materials available on the Moodle platform (see above).


It's not compulsory.

Course books

1. David Oldroyd, Storia della filosofia della scienza. Da Platone a Popper, Net, Milano 2002: only pages 1-132.

2. Stephen Shapin, La rivoluzione scientifica, Einaudi, Torino 2003 (all).

3. Thomas Hobbes, Leviatano, a cura di Arrigo Pacchi, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2011 (or previous editions): only Chapters I-XXXI.


Oral exam.


For the oral exam students are free to choose their preferred language: Italian, English or French.

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