Italo Alves


Undergraduate Courses

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Philosophy of Authenticity (PHIL 130)

The question of who we are lies at the heart of philosophical inquiry. From Plato’s contemplation of the imperative “know thyself” etched onto the Temple of Apollo at Delphi to Augustine’s assertion that truth resides within, Western philosophy has been shaped by the dichotomy between “inner” and “outer” realities and the duality between the self as agent (who knows) and as object (who is known). This course delves into the question of whether, in our pursuit of self-knowledge, we should actively aspire to be or become who we truly are. This is the problem of authenticity, the idea that some elements of ourselves can express who we really are, or that our lives can be led in a way that truly represents our inner nature. In this course, we will explore the challenges of authenticity, delving into questions such as: How can we ascertain that we are truly ourselves? Is it possible to exist as anything other than our authentic selves? Should we strive to become more aligned with our true selves? And, fundamentally, is there such a thing as a “self”? Structured into three sections, our investigation commences by exploring classical accounts of selfhood, dissecting the development of concepts like the soul, consciousness, ego, person, and subject. In the second section, we will examine modern perspectives on the call for authenticity, scrutinizing its Romantic origins and existential implications. In the final section, we will read critical accounts of authenticity that challenge foundational notions of selfhood, personhood, and subjectivity, complexifying the quest for authenticity and putting the very possibility of being authentic into question. The philosophers we will be reading offer complex accounts that involve questions of knowledge, values, and reality.

Loyola University Chicago, Spring 2024. View syllabus.

Social and Political Philosophy (PHIL 182)

This course will provide an introductory exploration of the field of social and political philosophy, which grapples with questions about the nature of society, power, justice, and the state. It will offer a critical examination of the foundations of social and political theories, as well as the values that guide them, and it is designed for students with an interest in understanding the underlying foundations of modern political systems and the ways in which these foundations shape our contemporary world. The course will be divided into two main parts. The first part (weeks 1–7) will focus on modern political philosophy, which revolves around questions involving the justification of the state, the concept of natural rights, the role of private property, and various forms of government. We will examine the social contract theory of the state and the early socialist and anarchist critiques of this theory. The second part of the course (weeks 9–15) will delve into contemporary issues in social and political philosophy, building upon the critical approaches opened up by the socialist critics and expanding them to include issues such as class, gender, sexuality, race, coloniality, and ecology. We will examine the ways in which these issues intersect and shape our understanding of social and political dynamics. Students will be encouraged to engage in critical thinking and analysis, and to apply the ideas and theories discussed in class to contemporary situations. This course has no prerequisites.

Loyola University Chicago, Fall 2023. 

Loyola University Chicago, Spring 2023. View syllabus.

Short Courses

Zotero para pessoas de humanas

Online, July 2021