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Daniele Lorenzini

I joined Warwick’s Philosophy Department in 2019, after a two-year Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship in the Centre Prospéro at the University of Saint-Louis, Brussels. In 2018-2019, I was also Visiting Scholar in the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University. I previously held postdoctoral fellowships in the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and the Institut des Sciences Juridique et Philosophique de la Sorbonne. I was educated in Italy (Scuola Normale Superiore and Università di Pisa) and I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Paris-Est and Sapienza Università di Roma.

I am the co-editor of two books series, Philosophie du présent (Vrin) and The Chicago Foucault Project (The University of Chicago Press), as well as of the peer-reviewed journal Foucault Studies.



Post-Kantian European philosophy (esp. 20th-century French philosophy) and ordinary language philosophy constitute the center of gravity of my work, but I also possess areas of scholarly and teaching expertise in moral and political philosophy, animal and medical ethics, ancient philosophy and philosophy & literature.

In the book based on my doctoral dissertation, Ethics and Politics of the Self (2015), I combine the works of Michel Foucault, Pierre Hadot, and Stanley Cavell in order to elaborate a perspective that I call a ‘descriptive analytic philosophy of politics and power’. My aim is to study both the concrete functioning of power in its ordinary ramifications and a series of ‘techniques of the ordinary’ playing the role of (ethical) practices of resistance. I thus question the sharp distinction that is generally traced between moral and political philosophy, and that Foucault scholars tend to draw between his work of the 1970s (on the analytics of power) and his work of the 1980s (on the ethics of the self). Instead, I show that processes of subjectivity-constitution emerge from the complex interplay between technologies of power and practices of the self, which therefore need to be addressed jointly.

My last published book, The Force of Truth (2017), starts from these same premises in order to explore the moral and political aspects of the practice of truth-telling in Western societies. Combining Foucault’s analysis of ancient parrēsia with J. L. Austin, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, and Jacques Derrida’s respective treatments of performatives, as well as Cavell’s conception of passionate utterance, I analyse the effects of subjection and subjectivation of a series of specific acts of truth-telling. By addressing the ‘perlocutionary force’ of speech, widely neglected in contemporary philosophy of language, my aim is to show that the efficacy of language cannot be reduced to its pragmatic force, but instead requires analysis of its ‘dramatic’ dimensions, that is, its contribution to the shaping of the subject herself. With words, we do not only do things; we also create and transform ourselves as subjects.

My first book, Jacques Maritain and Human Rights (2012), discusses Maritain’s distinctive contribution to the post-Second World War human rights project. It is the first monograph that reconstructs the history of the Committee of Catholics for Human Rights and addresses its relevance for crucial developments in Maritain’s thought during the 1940s. The book is currently being translated into English by St. Augustine’s Press.

I recently completed a book manuscript on Foucault’s history of truth and what I call ‘possibilising genealogy’.



In 2020-2021, I am teaching a PG module on Genealogy, Epistemology, Critique in the Autumn Term and an UG module on Existence, Experience, History: Key Topics in Continental Philosophy in the Spring Term.

I am also the convenor of the PhD Core Seminar and co-convenor of the Post-Kantian European Philosophy Seminar. In the Autumn and Spring Terms, I will be running a (virtual) reading group on biopolitics.


Selected Publications


La force du vrai: De Foucault à Austin (Lormont: Le Bord de l’Eau, 2017)

Éthique et politique de soi: Foucault, Hadot, Cavell et les techniques de l’ordinaire (Paris: Vrin, 2015)

Jacques Maritain e i diritti umani: Fra totalitarismo, antisemitismo e democrazia (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2012); English translation: Jacques Maritain and Human Rights (South Bend: St. Augustine’s Press, forthcoming)


Refereed Journal Articles

On Possibilising Genealogy”, Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 2020 (online first)

From Recognition to Acknowledgment: Rethinking the Perlocutionary”, Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 2020 (online first)

Critique without Ontology: Genealogy, Collective Subjects, and the Deadlocks of Evidence” (co-authored with M. Tazzioli), Radical Philosophy, no. 207 (2020), pp. 27-39

Alèthurgie oculaire et littérature de témoignage: De Sophocle à Soljenitsyne”, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, no. 292 (2020), pp. 17-28

The Emergence of Desire: Notes Toward a Political History of the Will”, Critical Inquiry, 45:2 (2019), pp. 448-470

Stanley Cavell, 1926-2018”, Radical Philosophy, 203 (2018), pp. 122-126

Governmentality, Subjectivity, and the Neoliberal Form of Life”, Journal for Cultural Research, 22:2 (2018), pp. 154-166; republished in A. Cole & E. Ferrarese (eds.), How Capitalism Forms Our Lives (New York: Routledge, 2019)

Confessional Subjects and Conducts of Non-Truth: Foucault, Fanon, and the Making of the Subject” (co-authored with M. Tazzioli), Theory, Culture & Society, 35:1 (2018), pp. 71-90

Benjamin/Foucault: Histoire, discontinuité, événement”, Phantasia, 7 (2018)

Is Iris Murdoch a Perfectionist Philosopher?”, Iride: Philosophy and Public Discussion, 81 (2017), pp. 373-384; republished in ABC Religion & Ethics, 21 February 2019

Briser le silence: La prise de parole entre infrapolitique et parrêsia” (co-authored with O. Irrera), Raisons politiques, 68 (2017), pp. 65-82

From Counter-Conduct to Critical Attitude: Michel Foucault and the Art of Not Being Governed Quite So Much”, Foucault Studies, 21 (2016), pp. 7-21

Performative, Passionate, and Parrhesiastic Utterance: On Cavell, Foucault, and Truth as an Ethical Force”, Critical Inquiry, 41:2 (2015), pp. 254-268

What Is a ‘Regime of Truth’”, Le Foucaldien, 1:1 (2015)

Foucault and the Analytic Philosophy of Politics”, Carceral Notebooks, 9 (2013), pp. 97-102

Must We Do What We Say? Truth, Responsibility and the Ordinary in Ancient and Modern Perfectionism”, European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, 2:2 (2010), pp. 16-34


Book Chapters

“Living Philosophically: Stanley Cavell, Moral Perfectionism, and Spiritual Exercises”, in P. Marrati (ed.), Understanding Cavell, Understanding Modernism (New York: Bloomsbury, forthcoming)

“Pour ou contre l’identité? Assujettissement, subjectivation, autonomie”, in Ph. Sabot (ed.), Discours et politiques de l’identité (Villeneuve d’Ascq: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, forthcoming)

“L’ordinaire à l’épreuve du perlocutoire”, in P. Fasula & S. Laugier (eds.), Les concepts de l’ordinaire (Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne, forthcoming)

“La parrêsia: une improvisation éthique”, in J.-M. Narbonne, H.-J. Lüsebrink & H. Schlange-Schöningen (eds.), Foucault: Repenser les rapports entre les Grecs et les Modernes (Paris: Vrin/Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 2020), pp. 147-170

“La politique du paradis: Foucault, Les Aveux de la chair et la généalogie du néolibéralisme”, in S. Boehringer & L. Laufer (eds.), Après “Les Aveux de la chair”: Généalogie du sujet chez Michel Foucault (Paris: Epel, 2020), pp. 229-241

“Cogito et discours philosophique: Foucault lecteur de Descartes”, in K.S. Ong-Van-Cung (ed.), Les formes historiques du cogito: XVIIe-XXe siècles (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2019), pp. 259-273

“Peut-on dire vrai en démocratie? Michel Foucault et la parrêsia comme forme de vie”, in E. Ferrarese & S. Laugier (eds.), Formes de vie (Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2018), pp. 171-187

“La société disciplinaire: Généalogie d’un concept”, in I. Fouchard & D. Lorenzini (eds.), Sociétés carcérales: Relecture(s) de “Surveiller et punir” (Paris: Mare & Martin, 2017), pp. 21-29

“Foucault, Regimes of Truth, and the Making of the Subject”, in L. Cremonesi et al. (eds.), Foucault and the Making of Subjects (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), pp. 63-75

“Ethics as Politics: Foucault, Hadot, Cavell, and the Critique of Our Present,” in M. Tazzioli, S. Fuggle & Y. Lanci (eds.), Foucault and the History of Our Present (Basingstoke: Palsgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 223-235

“Subjetividad, poder y reconciliación” (co-authored with D. Fernández Agis), in D. Pérez Chico &A. García Ruíz (eds.), Perfeccionismo: Entre la ética política y la autonomía personal (Zaragoza: Prensas universitarias de Zaragoza, 2014), pp. 95-115

“Éthique et politique de nous-mêmes: À partir de Michel Foucault et Stanley Cavell”, in D. Lorenzini, A. Revel & A. Sforzini (eds.), Michel Foucault: Éthique et vérité, 1980-1984 (Paris: Vrin, 2013), pp. 239-254

“‘That government is best which governs not at all’: Thoreau et les enjeux éthico-politiques de la désobéissance civile,” in A. Louis & A. Revel (eds.), L’art de gouverner: Questions éthiques et politiques (Bern et al.: Peter Lang, 2013), pp. 25-38

“Foucault, il cinismo e la ‘vera vita’”, in L. Bernini (ed.), Michel Foucault, gli antichi e i moderni: Parrhesia, Aufklärung, ontologia dell’attualità (Pisa: ETS, 2011), pp. 75-99

“La vie comme ‘réel’ de la philosophie: Cavell, Foucault, Hadot et les techniques de l’ordinaire,” in S. Laugier (ed.), La voix et la vertu: Variétés du perfectionnisme moral (Paris: P.U.F., 2010), pp. 469-487


Edited Volumes

Perlocutoire: Normativités et performativités du langage ordinaire(with S. Laugier, Paris: Mare & Martin, forthcoming)

Foucault et… Les liaisons dangereuses de Michel Foucault (co-edited with A. Brossat, Paris: Vrin, forthcoming)

Sociétés carcérales: Relecture(s) de “Surveiller et punir” (co-edited with I. Fouchard, Paris: Mare & Martin, 2017)

Foucault(s) (co-edited with J.-F. Braunstein et al., Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2017)

Foucault and the Making of Subjects (co-edited with L. Cremonesi et al., London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)

Foucault/Wittgenstein: Subjectivité, politique, éthique (co-edited with P. Gillot, Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2016)

Foucault, la sexualité, l’Antiquité (co-edited with S. Boehringer, Paris: Kimé, 2016)

Michel Foucault: Éthique et vérité, 1980-1984 (co-edited with A. Revel & A. Sforzini, Paris: Vrin, 2013)

Le travail de la littérature: Usages du littéraire en philosophie (co-edited with A. Revel, Rennes: P.U.R., 2012)


Edited Refereed Journal Issues

“Genealogy”, The Monist, in preparation

“The Perlocutionary and the Illocutionary” (co-edited with S. Laugier), Inquiry, forthcoming

“Michel Foucault: Before the Collège de France” (co-edited with S. Elden & O. Irrera), Theory, Culture & Society, forthcoming

“La pensée populiste” (co-edited with M. Deleixhe & Q. Landenne), Revue européenne des sciences sociales, forthcoming

Michel Foucault et la force des mots”, Phantasia, 8 (2019)

Davidson and His Interlocutors” (co-edited with R.T. Neer), Critical Inquiry, 45:2 (2019)

Prises de parole: Les discours subalternes” (co-edited with O. Irrera), Raisons politiques, 68 (2017)

Affetti e verità: L’esperienza della filosofia alla prova della scrittura” (co-edited with A. Revel), Iride: Philosophy and Public Discussion, 72 (2014)

Les néolibéralismes de Michel Foucault” (co-edited with F. Gros et al.), Raisons politiques, 52 (2013)

Foucault, l’etica antica e lo scandalo della verità”, Iride: Philosophy and Public Discussion, 66 (2012)


Books Edited (previously unpublished archival material)

Michel Foucault, Folie, langage, littérature (co-edited with H.-P. Fruchaud & J. Revel, Paris: Vrin, 2019)

Pierre Hadot, La philosophie comme éducation des adultes: Textes, perspectives, entretiens (co-edited with A.I. Davidson, Paris: Vrin, 2019)

Michel Foucault, Dire vrai sur soi-même: Conférences prononcées à l’Université Victoria de Toronto, 1982 (co-edited with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, 2017)

Jacques Maritain, Contro l’antisemitismo: Dignità della persona, mistero di Israele, sionismo (Brescia: Morcelliana, 2016)

Michel Foucault, Discours et vérité (co-edited with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, 2016); English translation: Discourse and Truth (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2019)

Michel Foucault, Qu’est-ce que la critique? suivi de La culture de soi (co-edited with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, 2015)

Michel Foucault, L’origine de l’herméneutique de soi: Conférences prononcées à Dartmouth College, 1980 (co-edited with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, 2013); English translation: About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self: Lectures at Dartmouth College, 1980 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015)


Interviews & Media

Biopolitics in the Time of Coronavirus”, Critical Inquiry Blog, 2 April 2020

Techniques of Self-Transformation: Iris Murdoch and Moral Perfectionism”, ABC Religion & Ethics, 21 February 2019

Jacques Maritain on Anti-Semitism and Human Rights: A Conversation with Daniele Lorenzini” (with Brian Phillips), Journal of Human Rights Practice, 10:3 (2018), pp. 536-545

Michel Foucault: Prácticas de libertad y políticas del decir veraz: Entrevista a Daniele Lorenzini” (with Nelson Fernando Roberto Alba), Dorsal: Revista de Estudios Foucaultianos, 5 (2018), pp. 141-154

Qu’est-ce que le perfectionnisme moral?”, Les chemins de la philosophie, France Culture, 5 September 2018

Contro l’antisemitismo”, Radio Radicale, 13 September 2016

Éthique et politique de soi”, Les nouveaux chemins de la connaissance, France Culture, 8 January 2016

Le perfectionnisme moral”, Les nouveaux chemins de la connaissance, France Culture, 14 March 2013


More on my Academia page.

Daniele Lorenzini


Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Deputy Director, Centre for Research in Post-Kantian European Philosophy


Advice & Feedback Hours (Autumn Term): Monday, 11am-1pm


La force du vrai

Ethique et politique de soi


Foucault and the Making of Subjects

Discourse and Truth

Hermeneutics of the Self