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Federico Testa

I am an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick. My current research has two main axes:

The first explores the field of biopolitics and the concept of life, especially the notions of norm and normativity in the works of Michel Foucault and Georges Canguilhem. My attempt is to read Foucault’s work from the perspective of Canguilhem’s notions of norm and normativity. This framework allows me to understand the continuities between different moments of Foucault’s research, mobilising the notion of norm in order to understand both the functioning of power over life and modern governmental technologies, on the one hand, and the relation to norms mobilised in the creation of ways of life and the government of the self, on the other.

The second axis consists in research and translation in the field of ancient – especially Hellenistic – philosophy and its modern and contemporary readings and receptions. I am preparing a critical edition and translation of Jean Marie Guyau’s La morale d’Épicure (co-edited with Prof Keith Ansell-Pearson) and, together with Prof Matthew Sharpe, I am translating and editing Pierre Hadot’s Selected essays.

I hold a Master’s degree in Philosophy, with a dissertation on Michel Foucault and the History of Madness. I also hold a Master’s degree in History of Art (Art Theory and Criticism), with a thesis on the relations between the cultural concept of madness and artistic creation.
I have previously worked, taught and published on aesthetics, art history, art theory and criticism.

As a lecturer and tutor, I worked at Deakin University (Australia), Monash University (Australia), as well as in different institutions in Brazil. I have teaching experience in the history of philosophy, social and political theory and aesthetics.

From 2016 to 2018, I worked as a Research Assistant at Macquarie University (Australia).

In 2017 – 2018 I was a Postgraduate Fellow (AEUIFAI) at the Department of History and Civilisation of the European University Institute (Italy), where I have co-organised the workshop “Modern Readings of Epicureanism: Political Receptions and the Politics of Reception”.

Selected Publications

  • “Jean-Marie Guyau’s Presence and Absence in the History of Philosophy”
    Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, Volume 30: Restoration and Resistance, 2019.
  • “Pleasure and Self-Cultivation in Guyau and Nietzsche” (with M. Dennis)
    The Agonist (Nietzsche Circle, New York). Volume X, Issue II, Spring 2017.
  • “Hacia una Historia de las Prácticas Filosóficas en Michel Foucault y Pierre Hadot”.
    Konvergencias. Filosofía y Cultura en Diálogo (Buenos Aires), Número 24, 2017.
  • “Towards a History of Philosophical Practices in Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot”.
    Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy. Special Volume. Self-Cultivation: Ancient and Modern. 2016.
  • “An Archaeology of Silence: experience and power in Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization.
    “Uma arqueologia do silêncio: experiência e poder na História da loucura de Michel Foucault”. Cultura e Fé (Porto Alegre), 2013.
  • "Michel Foucault and Hellenism: Subjectivation and the Care of the Self”.
    “Michel Foucault e o helenismo: subjetivação e cuidado de si”. Intuitio (Porto Alegre), v. 4, 2011.
  • “Art from a Sociological Point of View: Jean-Marie Guyau’s Aesthetics and Minor Sociology”.
    “A arte do ponto de vista sociológico: a estética e a sociologia menor de Jean-Marie Guyau”. Cultura e Fé (Porto Alegre), v. 132, 2011.
  • For a full list of publications, please visit my profile on

Conference Papers

  • "The Vitality of the Norm: Ways of Life and Normativity in Foucault and Canguilhem".
    Reinventing Philosophy as a Way of Life (Workshop). Monash University Prato Centre, Prato, Italy, 2018.
  • "Nietzsche and Guyau on the Temporality of Epicurean Pleasure".
    Art of Living / Art of Dying: Philosophical and Literary Perspectives (Conference). Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, 2018.
  • “Jean-Marie Guyau, the Ethics of Epicurus: Pleasure and Duty in the History of Moral Thought”.
    Modern Receptions of Epicureanism: Political Receptions and the Politics of Reception (MWP Multidisciplinary Research Workshop). European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 2018.
  • “Guyau et Nietzsche lecteurs d’Épicure”.
    Jean-Marie Guyau et ses contemporains (Conference). Université Paris 8 and Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, France, 2018.
  • “Norma, filosofía y modo de vida: una lectura de Foucault con Canguilhem”.
    V Congreso Internacional La actualidad de Michel Foucault (Conference). Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid, Spain, 2018.
  • “Foucault and the Enlightenment”.
    The Legacy of the Enlightenment (Workshop). European University Institute. Florence, Italy, 2017.
  • “Foucault on Bio-techniques: A Critical History of Norms”.

    II Congreso Internacional Michel Foucault (Conference). Universidad de Granada. Granada, Spain, 2017.

  • “On the Politics of the Living: Foucault, Canguilhem and the Norms of Life”.
    Reinventing Philosophy as a Way of Life (Workshop). Monash University, Prato, Italy, 2017.

  • “Vitalismo e Políticas do Vivente em Foucault e Canguilhem”.
    I Workshop Natureza, Vitalismo e Ecologia: pensar o naturalismo filosófico. IMED University, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2017.

  • “‘The Great Cycle of the World’: Knowledge of Nature and the Cosmologic Perspective of the Care of the Self in the Hermeneutics of the Subject”.
    Government of self, government of others. Ethical and political questions in the late Foucault (Conference). Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Lisbon, Portugal, 2017.

  • “Is There a Politics of the Care of the Self in Michel Foucault?”
    Foucault Circle 2016 (Conference). University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia, 2016.

  • “Way of Life, Spirituality and Care of the Self: the reception of Hellenistic Philosophies in Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot”
    Prospects for an Ethics of Self-Cultivation: Modern Appraisals of the Hellenistic Legacy (Conference). Monash University Prato Centre. Prato, Italy, 2015.

  • “Libera Multitudo: Politics and Ontology in Spinoza’s Tratactus Politicus”.
    Power Ontologies in Ethics and Politics (Conference). University of Queensland, Australia, 2015.

  • “Guyau’s Spinoza: Selections from La Morale d'Épicure(with M.Dennis).
    Power Ontologies in Ethics and Politics (Workshop). University of Queensland, Australia, 2015.

  • “Michel Foucault on Literature: Philosophy and Politics of Writing”.
    Filosofia em Debate (Conference). Faculdade IDC. Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2014.

I am a PhD candidate at the Univeristy of Warwick and Monash University (Australia).

Thesis title: "Foucault, Canguilhem and the Politics of Life"

Supervisors: Miguel de Beistegui (Warwick) and Michael Ure (Monash).

Foucault at Warwick 2018

Warwick Continental Philosophy Conference 2018