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


Essence of knowledge, metamorphosis of truth and destruction of the universal concept of man in Heidegger's platonic lessons of 1931/32
Essenza del sapere , metamorfosi della verità e distruzione del concetto universale di uomo nelle lezioni platoniche di Heidegger del 1931/32

A.Y. Credits
2020/2021 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Giuseppe Stefano Azzarà Every Monday from 13 to 14.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Pedagogy (LM-85)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

In 1931/32 Martin Heidegger gave a course on the essence of truth starting from an exposition of the myth of Plato's cave and from an interpretation of Theetetus. What seems a normal comparison with the origins of the history of philosophy, however, takes place in a particularly controversial historical and political context: we are at the sunset of the Weimar Republic and at the dawn of the takeover of power by Nazism. After immersing himself in the climate of the ideology of the German war and of the subsequent conservative revolution, Heidegger - who in the meantime approached the National Socialist party - actually proposes in his lessons a powerful but disturbing interpretation of western history but also of politics and revolution, focusing on particular on the role of the intellectual avant-gardes and providing a total destruction of all philosophical universalism.


1) Heidegger and his time
2) The Second Thirty Years War and its presuppositions
3) The ideology of war
4) The post-war material and cultural crisis
4) The conservative revolution
5) Martin Heidegger
6) The lessons on Plato
7) Historical-political power and impotence of knowledge
8) The metaphysical direction of western history 348
9) Modern universalism as an "eradication" of the historical-political power of the West
10) Return to the essence of knowledge, metamorphosis of truth and historical "revolution"
11) Destruction of the modern subject, grounding and denial of human generality
12) Intellectual vanguards of the revolution and anthropological transformation

Bridging Courses


Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

In relation to the discipline and its specificities, the student must show:

Knowledge and understanding:
- Adequate and aware knowledge of the fundamental issues of contemporary philosophy exposed in class and deepened in the textbooks and understanding of its fundamental concepts (see the Training objectives);
- Adequate and aware knowledge of the historical and socio-political dynamics of the contemporary age exposed in class and deepened in the textbooks and understanding of the processes that have innervated them;
- In-depth understanding of the building blocks of the philosophical reflection of the authors discussed in class and the context in which it is placed.
Applied knowledge and understanding:
- Ability to orientate and orient high school students in twentieth-century philosophical and political debate, as well as to understand how much of today's philosophy depends genealogically on the hermeneutical choices developed in the period between the two world wars.
Making judgments:
- Ability to take an autonomous position with respect to the main philosophical-political issues of debate and contemporary conflicts (universalism / particularism, emancipation / deemancipation ...).

Communication skills:
Ability to explain, rework independently and make understand what has been learned in the appropriate forms for a second level university level study and to argue in the appropriate forms for teaching in high school; ability to explain in an original way the fundamental issues, aspects and principles of contemporary philosophy, in particular in relation to its political implications (nexus freedom / equality and couple recognition / exclusion in the first place).

Ability to learn
- Based on the knowledge acquired through the course, the student must be able to independently build research and study courses and understand which readings can help him in this regard.

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 by dr. Emiliano Alessandroni (10 hours).

Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


Frontal lessons and seminar.



Course books

- Martin Heidegger: L'essenza della verità. Sul mito della caverna e sul «Teeteto» di Platone, Adelphi, Milano 1997.

- Stefano G. Azzarà: Essenza del sapere , metamorfosi della verità e distruzione del concetto universale di uomo nelle lezioni platoniche di Heidegger del 1931/32, in Id., Pensare la rivoluzione conservatrice, La città del Sole, Napoli 2000, pp. 337-392.

- Domenico Losurdo: La comunità, la morte, l'Occidente. Heidegger e l'ideologia della guerra, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 1991.

Chapters to be studied will be indicated during the first days of lessons.


The exam aims to ascertain the student's understanding and knowledge with respect to the educational objectives of the course and his ability to present them in a reasoned way: it will therefore be an oral exam.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


Non-attending students will have to support the same program as attending students, helping in particular with 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 non-attending students, however, the test will refer to the texts indicated in the educational program.

« back Last update: 21/09/2020


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