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Hermeneutics, critique of modernity and politics between Nietzsche and Marx
Ermeneutica, critica della modernità e politica tra Nietzsche e Marx

A.Y. Credits
2018/2019 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Giuseppe Stefano Azzarà Monday h. 13-14, teacher's office, Palazzo Albani, via Bramante 17

Assigned to the Degree Course

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

Learning Objectives

The so-called hermeneutical turning point has introduced the primacy of interpretation into the philosophical debate and has radically criticized the fundamental axes and concepts of modern and Hegelian philosophy in particular. Starting from Nietzsche ("there are no facts but only interpretations") this deconstructive modernism attitude will mature in Western philosophy and culture with Heidegger, until it explodes in the postmodern season, subverting consolidated approaches and orientations and intertwining with the great political transformations that have led to the affirmation and then to the crisis of democracy. In Italy, in particular, the main animator of this attitude was Gianni Vattimo, who at the failed attempt to move Nietzsche to the left combining it with historical materialism will soon respond with the transition to an organic theory of postmodernism based on the contestation of the metaphysical concept of truth. If this parable has accompanied on the cultural level the apogee of modern democracy, when the latter fully demonstrates its own crisis, Vattimo will undergo a massive rethinking of his thought, approaching the Marxian reflection on history and on the political-social conflict. This is the terrain of his meeting with Laclau and his postmodern theory of left-wing populism. However, this is not the only road for a renewal of the cultural categories of progressive thought: the reconstruction of historical materialism on its foundations proposed by Domenico Losurdo provides a radical alternative to the risks involved in any simplification of political discourse.


1) Nietzsche oggi e ieri;
2) Nietzsche e il suo tempo;
3) La nascita della tragedia e la politica;
4) Vattimo e Nietzsche: una prima lettura esistenzialistica;
5) Nietzsche "rivoluzionario" e il marxismo;
6) Dal marxismo al pensiero debole;
7) Ermeneutica e postmodernismo;
8) Postmodernismo e svolta neoliberale;
9) Crisi della democrazia e passaggio al "comunismo ermeneutico";
10) Ermeneutica e politica "populista": Laclau;
11) La ricostruzione del materialismo storico sulle proprie basi: Losurdo.

Bridging Courses


Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

In relation to the discipline and its specific features the student will have to show:

Knowledge and understanding:
- Knowledge of the fundamental themes of postmodern hermeneutics exposed in class and deepened in textbooks and understanding of its fundamental concepts (see the Educational objectives);
- Knowledge of the historical and socio-political dynamics that act as a background to the hermeneutical philosophical turning point exposed to lectures and deepened in textbooks and understanding of the processes that have innervated them;
- Understanding of the constituent elements of the philosophical debate on hermeneutics and its political presuppositions;

Knowledge and understanding skills applied:
- Ability to orientate in the contemporary philosophical debate and to understand the elements that today can strengthen or further weaken the circulation of ideas and the free and democratic debate on a cultural level.

Making judgments (making judgments):
- Ability to take a stand on the basis of the main issues of the philosophical debate on hermeneutics and its historical-political assumptions (eg: truth and interpretation, objective and subjective / relative, universal and particular, reason and unconscious, etc. etc. ).

Communication skills:
Ability to communicate what has been learned in the forms suitable for a university-level study; ability to transmit and communicate the fundamental aspects and principles of the realistic and hermeneutical philosophical perspective also in basic educational work.

Ability to learn
- On the basis of the knowledge acquired through the course, the student must be able to autonomously construct courses of study and to understand which readings and experiences can help him in this sense.

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 held by dr. Emiliano Alessandroni (10 hours).

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Lessons and seminar.



Course books

- Stefano G. Azzarà: Un Nietzsche italiano. Gianni Vattimo e le avventure dell'oltreuomo rivoluzionario, Manifestolibri, Roma 2011

- Stefano G. Azzarà: Nonostante Laclau, Mimesis, Milano 2017.

- Domenico Losurdo: Il marxismo occidentale, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2017.


The expected learning outcomes will be ascertained through an oral interview.
The test will refer to the texts in the program, to evaluate their knowledge, but also to the theses exposed in class by the teacher, to verify:

- knowledge of the philosophical issues and the topics dealt with;
- an understanding of the historical, social and political processes that underlie it;
- the ability to expose these acquired skills in a structured and personal way;
- the ability to argue independently in relation to the training objectives and expected learning outcomes (and therefore also to orient oneself in the problems of the present).

These aspects will be evaluated on the basis of a four-level scale of values / judgments (insufficient: less than 18, sufficient: 18-23, discrete: 24-26, good-excellent: 28-30).

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Non-attending students must support the same program as those attending, in particular by using the materials available on the Moodle platform and coordinating with the teacher and his assistants.



Course books

As for attending students.


As for attending students. For those not attending the test, however, will refer exclusively to the texts indicated in the educational program.



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