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


HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA CONTEMPORANEA

The virus of the West. Abstract universalism and particular souverainism facing the state of exception
Il virus dell'Occidente. Universalismo astratto e sovranismo particolaristico di fronte allo stato d'eccezione

A.Y. Credits
2020/2021 5
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Giuseppe Stefano Azzarà Reception will take place electronically by appointment and will mostly take place at the end of the lessons.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Educational Sciences (L-19)
Curriculum: EDUCATORE DEI SERVIZI EDUCATIVI PER L'INFANZIA
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The pandemic brought to light the contradictions of capitalist societies, exhausted by decades of neoliberal policies - in the name of the war on wages and the rights of the subordinate classes, privatizations, deregulation and the dismantling of Welfare - which have made them increasingly unequal . Unable to imagine a different model of society and certain of its unshakeable eternity, the West believed that the "Chinese virus" only affected countries that were backward or believed to be authoritarian and that it could never spread to efficient and transparent liberal societies. Instead of taking seriously the experience of other realities that have better managed the emergency thanks to the ability of the state and politics to guide the economy and production by subordinating private interests to those of the majority, he denied them any recognition, up to to procure alone an extreme risk for excess hybris. The philosophical debate has not escaped this suicidal inability to open up to the other: both the abstract human rights positions inspired by universalist liberalism, and the particularist and populist sovereignism - which of liberalism represents not the alternative but a conservative split - in fact share in front Western suprematism in an exceptional state, with the refusal to elaborate a concrete universalism and to think of a different configuration of the relationship between the individual, civil society and the State but also of the relations between nations.

The course therefore proposes the following educational objectives:

- help students understand the fundamental concepts of the philosophy of the contemporary age, with particular attention to its political implications (universal / particular; social classes; modern / anti-modern / post-modern; right / left, recognition / discrimination; democracy / bonapartism, etc. . etc.);

- to help them understand the complexity of the historical process that led to democratic institutional forms in the West and their incomplete expansion but also to understand the historical and political paths that led to the affirmation of political regimes other than the liberal ones;

- help them understand the profound, material and cultural reasons for the current crisis of liberal democracy;

- help them orient themselves in the contemporary political-cultural context starting from the theoretical elements learned and their application to today's communication contexts (TV, newspapers, social networks).

Program

I.1. Historical crises and capitalist naturalism

I.2. The specter of "totally other": China and the West

I.3. To limit the infection or to take a risk yourself?

I.4. Building and criminalizing the enemy

I.5. Liberal democracies and "authoritarian regimes" in the state of exception

I.6. Democracy or democracies?

I.7. Liberal democracy and socialist democracy

I.8 Concrete and dialectic universalism of inclusion in Tianxia, ​​the "way to Heaven"

II.1. The Philosopher's Virus 1. Exception and repression

II.2. Philosophers' virus 2. Immunization and exclusion

II.3. The Philosopher's Virus 3. The individual and the other

II.4. The Philosophers' Virus 4. Liberalism and "Great Lord Anarchism"

II.5. Misery of the criticism of biopolitics

II.6. Nihil sub sole novum?

II.7. Because everything changes

II.8. Because you don't change anything in the essential. A new economic looting?

II.9. Because you don't change anything in the essential. A further concentration of power?

III.1. What return of the state?

III.2. Jones and Brennan: criticism of modern democracy, end of universal suffrage and epistocratic monopoly of power

III.3. Restoration of particularistic liberalism and organized capitalism: towards an "authoritarian statism"

III.3.a. Milanović: «liberal meritocratic capitalism» against «political capitalism»

III.3.b. Mearsheimer: end of the illusion of liberal humanist universalism and revival of particularistic realism

III.3.c. Aresu: "political capitalism" or transfiguration of the revolt of the ruling classes?

III.4. Sovereignty and communitarianism

III.5. Communist "socialism"

III.6. Outsourcing the conflict. "Beyond left and right"

III.7. Liberalism and sovereignty, universalism and particularism

III.8. Rebuilding modern democracy

Bridging Courses

None.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

In relation to the specificities of the discipline, is required:

Knowledge and understanding:
- Knowledge of the fundamental themes of the History of contemporary philosophy exposed in class and deepened in the textbooks and understanding of its fundamental concepts in their political consequences (see Educational objectives);
- Knowledge of the historical and socio-political dynamics exposed in class and deepened in the textbooks and understanding of the processes that have innervated them;
- Understanding of the building blocks of modern democracy and of the left / right and top / bottom axes;

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

Making judgments:
- Ability to take an independent position with respect to the main historical-political issues of debate and contemporary conflicts (eg centralization and spectacularisation of power; migration; "conflicts of civilizations", etc. etc.)

Communication skills:
- Ability to communicate what has been learned in the appropriate forms for a university-level study; ability to transmit and communicate the fundamental aspects and principles of democratic politics (nexus freedom / equality and couple recognition / exclusion) also in basic educational work.

Ability to learn
- Based on the knowledge acquired through the course, the student must be able to independently build in-depth courses and understand which readings and experiences 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

Didactics

Frontal lessons and seminar.

Attendance

At the beginning of the course a verification of the initial preparation of the students inherent to the main historical-philosophical problems will be carried out. On this basis, students will attend an intensive seminar to strengthen their skills by dr. Matteo Gargani.

Course books

- Stefano G. Azzarà: Il virus dell'Occidente. Universalismo astratto e sovranismo particolarista di fronte allo stato d'eccezione, Mimesis, Milano 2020: pp. 7-94, 121-251, 299-375.

- Giorgio Agamben: Stato d'eccezione, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2003: pp. 9-113.

- Domenico Losurdo: Imperialismo e questione europea, La scuola di Pitagora, Napoli 2019: capitolo VII e Appendice (di cui il capitolo 5 escluso).

Assessment

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

Didactics

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:

- Stefano G. Azzarà: Il virus dell'Occidente. Universalismo astratto e sovranismo particolarista di fronte allo stato d'eccezione, Mimesis, Milano 2020: pp. 7-94, 121-251, 299-375.

- Giorgio Agamben: Stato d'eccezione, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2003: pp. 9-113.

- Domenico Losurdo: Imperialismo e questione europea, La scuola di Pitagora, Napoli 2019: capitolo VII e Appendice (di cui il capitolo 5 escluso).

Attendance

None.

Course books

As for attending students.

Assessment

As for attending students. For non-attending students, the final exam will only refer to the texts in the program and not to the lessons.

« back Last update: 19/10/2020

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