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


Antimodernism and relativism from conservative revolution to postmodern populism
Antimodernismo e relativismo dalla rivoluzione conservatrice al populismo postmoderno

A.Y. Credits
2017/2018 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Giuseppe Stefano Azzarà

Assigned to the Degree Course

Educational Sciences (L-19)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

A reactionary criticism of modernity and a propensity to immediateness and particularism characterize right-wing thinking. During the nineteenth century, however, these features dissociate themselves from the dogmatism of tradition and religion to reach the relativism theorized by Nietzsche and his school. In the twentieth century, then, Conservatism passed through a long and complex process of learning. Through the postmodern season and the crisis of Marxism, it has been able to renew itself and to reiterate its own topicality, which is evident today in numerous "populist" movements. The student must understand the complexity of historical processes that in 19th and 20th centuries characterized the political-social conflict inside the nations and the international conflict, in order to understand the political orientation axes of contemporary cultural debate.

The class therefore proposes the following objectives:

- helping students to understand the fundamental concepts of contemporary philosophy (modern / antimodern / postmodern, universalism / particularism, freedom, equality...) in their political implications;

- helping them to understand the complexity of the historical movement and its burden in the conflict between social classes;

- helping them to understand the oppositions right / left particularism / universalism, and how they influences the formation of modern democracy and its crisis;

- helping them to orientate themselves in the contemporary political and cultural context, making use of the theoretical elements learned (the inevitable mutations of each philosophical-political nucleus) and to applying them to today's communicative contexts (TV, newspapers, social networks).


1) Right and left, particularism and universalism
2) Immediate universalism and concrete universalism
3) Nietzsche and the redefinition of conservative thought
4) From traditional conservatism to conservative revolution
5) The Dialectics of the Conservative Revolution
6) Crisis of Marxism, postmodernism, exhaustion of modern democracy
7) Conservatism and populism

Bridging Courses


Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

In relation to the discipline the student must show:

Knowledge and understanding:
- Knowledge of the fundamental themes of the History of Contemporary Philosophy exposed by teachers and deepened in the textbooks and understanding of its fundamental concepts (see Learning Objectives);
- Knowledge of the historical and socio-political dynamics by teachers and deepened in he textbooks and understanding of processes that have inspired them;
Understanding the constituent elements of modern democracy and of the right / left and high / low axes;

Applied knowledge and understanding:
- Ability to orientate in contemporary political debate and to understand the elements that today can strengthen or further undermine modern democracy.

Making judgments:
- indipendent judgement regarding the main historical-political questions of contemporary debate and conflict (eg centralization and spectacularization of power, migrations, "clash of civilizations", etc.);

Communicative Skills:
- Ability to communicate what has been learned in a form that is appropriate to an university-level study; Ability to convey and communicate the main principles of democratic politics (freedom, equality and recognition / exclusion) even in basic education work.

Ability to learn
- On the basis of the knowledge gained through the lessons, the student must be able to build autonomous paths of investigations and to understand which kind of readings and experiences can help him.

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

Seminar directed by dr. Emiliano Alessandroni (10 hours). Further texts available by link on Moodle platform.

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Lessons in presence and seminar.


Not compulsory

Course books

1) Arthur Moeller van den Bruck: Tramonto dell'Occidente? Spengler contro Spengler, a cura di S.G. Azzarà, Oaks, Milano 2017.

2) Stefano G. Azzarà: Friedrich Nietzsche dal radicalismo aristocratico alla Rivoluzione conservatrice. Quattro saggi di Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Castelvecchi, Roma 2014.

3) Emiliano Alessandroni: Potenza ed eclissi di un sistema. Hegel e i fondamenti della trasformazione, Mimesis, Milano 2016 (pp. 9-79, 83-91, 162-184).


Expected learning outcomes will be verified through an oral interview.
The test will refer to the texts in program, to evaluate the knowledge, but also to the theses exposed by the teachers, in order to verify:

- the knowledge of philosophical issues exposed and their political outcomes;
- the understanding of the historical and social processes underlying them;
- the ability to articulate and personalize such skills acquired;
- the ability to independently argue the learning outcomes (and therefore also to orientate in the problems of the present days).

These aspects will be assessed on the basis of a four-level scale / judgment (insufficient: less than 18, enough: 18-23, discreet: 24-26, good-good: 28-30).

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Not attending students must learn the same programm learned by attending ones, using also text and materials available on Moodle platform. Please contact professor and its assistant lecturer.


Not compulsory.

Course books

As for attending students.


As for attending students, but for not-attending students the assessment will be based on the texts specified, for an evaluation of the acquired knowledge.



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