Dreaming and Dream-Consciousness in Ancient and Medieval Philosophical Texts: An Introduction
This interdisciplinary course provides an introduction to the research field of ancient and medieval philosophy through the theme of dreams and dream-consciousness broadly understood. The relevant sources span from the ancient classical period through the Middle Ages and the early modern period to our present time. Themes that will be discussed include e.g. the problem of discriminating between dreaming and waking, dreams used for the purpose of promoting epistemological relativism, explanations of why the dreamer typically mistakes his dream as a perception of something real, and whether naïve acceptances of dreams as real involve proper beliefs or not. The course is interdisciplinary in that it includes also the study of the material aspects of the transmission of ancient philosophical texts via the Middle Ages to our time, and of the various methodologies – paleography, codicology and textual criticism – that allow us to reconstruct the ancient and medieval originals so that we can access their content in a reliable way.
The course offers not only the opportunity to acquire knowledge about how our theories on dreams developed from Antiquity to present times, but also an introduction to the methodology of history of philosophy and classical philology as an interdisciplinary field of research.