History of Ideas
Cod: 51148
Department: DH
Scientific area: Philosophy
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The course offers a panoramic view of the History of Ideas, focusing basically on the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions, which are most relevant for the understanding of the development of ideas and mentalities in the (Western) European world. Besides an introductory part (History of Ideas vs. Discourse analysis), this course will examine five main topics (polytheism/monotheism; reason/religion; Humanism; Enlightenment; modernity/secularization) that continue to mark our contemporary life.

  • Philosophy
  • Knowledge
  • Religion

By finishing this unit, the student should be able:

  • to understand the production and validity of ideas and mentalities in Europe;
  • to reflect on the relation between knowledge and a given historical-cultural context;
  • to read critically historical documents and sources in his own context;
  • to compare different viewpoints regarding the same historical and cultural phenomena.

  • Polytheism/monotheism
  • Reason/religion
  • Humanism
  • Enlightenment
  • modernity/secularization



  • A reading list will be available in each lesson.
  • Foucault, Michel (1971/1996), A Ordem do Discurso. Edições Loyola
  • Skinner, Quentin (2017), "Significado e Interpretação na História das Ideias." Revista Tempo e Argumento 9/20, (358-399).

Supplemental Biography:

  • Jay, Martin (2022). Genesis and Validity: The Theory and Practice of Intellectual History. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Turner, Frank M. (2016), European Intellectual History from Rousseau to Nietzsche. Yale University Press


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).

Knowledge in English (reading) is beneficial.