Social &Cultural Development from the Early Modern Age to the Age of Scientific Discovery: A Traveller’s View
The incipit of the course will focus on the passages dedicated by Dante in the Divine Comedy to Averroes and Avicenna. Then I will move to Al-Farabi underlying his break with the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, and the passage from metaphysics to methodology (as an anticipation of modernity). Particular attention will be given to al-Farabi’s treatment of the soul’s imaginative faculty and to the realization of “true happiness” in the ideal society (and, of course, to the notion of “vicious” and “virtuous” societies). The concept of “ignorant” societies —where the pursuit of happiness is supplanted by wealth, gratification or power — will offer an interesting comparison with the present of the so called knowledge society. A brief reference to Averroes’s “gender equality” constitutes another interesting link with the present.
Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae will also be introduced by a passage of the Divine Comedy. In this section of the course I will focus on: