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Daniele Lorenzini

Associate Professor of Philosophy

PhD, Paris XII University & Sapienza University of Rome

BA & MA, Scuola Normale Superiore & University of Pisa


I came to Penn in 2022 from the University of Warwick, where I was an Associate Professor of Philosophy and the co-director of the Center for Research in Post-Kantian European Philosophy. Previously, I held postdoctoral and visiting positions at Columbia University, Sorbonne University, and the University of Saint-Louis in Brussels.


This academic year (2023-2024), I am on a Humboldt Research Fellowship at Freie Universität Berlin to work on a new book project on the critical social philosophy of Frantz Fanon. However, in the Summer and Fall of 2023, I led with Sukaina Hirji an online reading group on oppression at Penn. I am also the proud recipient of the 2024 Charles Ludwig Distinguished Teaching Award.


Post-Kantian European philosophy and social & political philosophy constitute the center of gravity of my work, but I also possess areas of scholarly and teaching expertise in early analytic philosophy, applied ethics, philosophy & literature, and the history & philosophy of human rights.


My new book, The Force of Truth: Critique, Genealogy, and Truth-Telling in Michel Foucault, on Foucault’s history of truth and what I call possibilizing genealogy, was published by the University of Chicago Press in September 2023. You can read Johanna Oksala’s review of it for Critical Inquiry here, Frieder Vogelmann's review of it for Constellations here, Roberto Mordacci's review of it for Moral Philosophy (in Italian) here, and listen to this podcast where I talk about the book with Richard Grijalva. 


I am the co-editor of Foucault Studies and of two book series, Philosophie du présent (Vrin) and The Chicago Foucault Project (University of Chicago Press).


At Penn, I am also a member of the Department of Francophone, Italian, and Germanic Studies (FIGS) Graduate Group.



Upcoming Talks


“Philosophy Between the Fantastic and the Uncanny,” international conference L’ordinaire comme quête et comme projection, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France), June 18-19, 2024


Racial Vulnerabilization and Oppressive Nihilism,” symposium Situating Vulnerability: Politics, Law, and Institutions, ICI Berlin (Germany), June 27, 2024


Title TBA, international conference Foucault: A Renewed Reassessment on Reception, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt (Germany), July 3-5, 2024


“Truth-Telling and Oppression,” APSA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia (USA), September 5-8, 2024 


Title TBA, DePaul University’s Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, DePaul University, September 20-21, 2024 (keynote)


Book session on The Force of Truth (Chicago, 2023), 62nd Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, September 26-28, 2024


“Archaeology as Diagnostic: On the Political Dimensions of Foucault’s History of the Present,” international conference Aquinas and Foucault: At the Crossroads of Medieval and Contemporary Philosophy, Eastern Visayas State University, Ormoc City (Philippines), September 27-29, 2024 (keynote)


“L’attualità del Discorso filosofico di Michel Foucault,” workshop Discorso filosofico e politica della verità, Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Napoli (Italy), November 14-15, 2024



Selected Publications




The Force of Truth: Critique, Genealogy, and Truth-Telling in Michel Foucault (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2023)


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, in press)



Edited Books


The Foucauldian Mind (New York: Routledge, “Philosophical Minds” series, in prep.)


Genealogy: A Genealogy (with V. Erlenbusch-Anderson, New York: Columbia University Press, in prep.)


Michel Foucault, Généalogies de la sexualité (with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, in press)


Michel Foucault, Le discours philosophique (with O. Irrera, Paris: EHESS/Gallimard/Seuil, 2023); English translation: Philosophical Discourse (New York: Columbia University Press, in prep.)


Michel Foucault, Folie, langage, littérature (with H.-P. Fruchaud & J. Revel, Paris: Vrin, 2019); English translation: Madness, Language, Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2023)


Michel Foucault, Dire vrai sur soi-même: Conférences prononcées à l’Université Victoria de Toronto, 1982 (with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, 2017); English edition: Speaking the Truth about Oneself: Lectures at Victoria University, Toronto, 1982 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021)


Foucault and the Making of Subjects (with L. Cremonesi, O. Irrera & M. Tazzioli, London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016)


Foucault, la sexualité, l’Antiquité (with S. Boehringer, Paris: Kimé, 2016); English translation: Foucault, Sexuality, Antiquity (New York: Routledge, 2022)


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


Michel Foucault, Discours et vérité (with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, 2016); English edition: Discourse & Truth (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019)


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


Michel Foucault, Qu’est-ce que la critique? suivi de La culture de soi (with H.-P. Fruchaud, Paris: Vrin, 2015); English translation: What Is Critique? & The Culture of the Self (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2024)


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


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


Le travail de la littérature: Usages du littéraire en philosophie (with A. Revel, Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2012)



Journal Articles


“Nietzsche's Genealogical Perfectionism,” The Monist, forthcoming


The Architectonic of Foucault's Critique” (with T. Tiisala), European Journal of Philosophy32:1 (2024), pp. 114-129


Rethinking Biopolitics: COVID-19, Differential Vulnerabilities, and Biopolitical Rights,” Journal of European Studies, 54:1 (2024), pp. 27-41


Philosophical Discourse and Ascetic Practice: On Foucault’s Readings of Descartes’ Meditations,” Theory, Culture & Society, 40:1-2 (2023), pp. 139-159


Reason versus Power: Genealogy, Critique, and Epistemic Injustice,” The Monist, 105:4 (2022), pp. 541-557


La fragilité de l'intellect: Martha Nussbaum, Aristote et la vie bonne,” Revue philosophique, 147 (2022), pp. 165-175


Biopolitics in the Time of Coronavirus,” Critical Inquiry, 47:S2 (2021), pp. 40-45


On Possibilising Genealogy,” Inquiry, forthcoming (online first: 2020)


From Recognition to Acknowledgment: Rethinking the Perlocutionary,” Inquiry, forthcoming (online first: 2020)


Critique without Ontology: Genealogy, Collective Subjects, and the Deadlocks of Evidence” (with M. Tazzioli), Radical Philosophy, 207 (2020), pp. 27-39


Anarcheology and the Emergence of the Alethurgic Subject in Foucault’s On the Government of the Living,” Foucault Studies, S3:1 (2020), pp. 53-70


The Definition of Nonhuman Animal Euthanasia,” Animal Studies, 9:2 (2020), pp. 1-20


Alèthurgie oculaire et littérature de témoignage: De Sophocle à Soljenitsyne,” Revue Internationale de Philosophie, 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


Confessional Subjects and Conducts of Non-Truth: Foucault, Fanon, and the Making of the Subject” (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


Briser le silence: La prise de parole entre infrapolitique et parrêsia” (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)



Book Chapters


“Acknowledgment Is Not Recognition: On the Perlocutionary Dimension of Our Normative Practices,” in M. Congdon & T. Khurana (eds.), The Philosophy of Recognition: Expanded Perspectives on a Fundamental Concept (New York: Routledge, in press)


“Foucault’s Genealogy of Sexuality: From São Paulo to Confessions of the Flesh,” in N.K. Clements & D.L. Wyche (eds.), Foucault’s Confessions (New York: Columbia University Press, in press)


“Living Philosophically: Stanley Cavell, Moral Perfectionism, and Spiritual Exercises,” in D. LaRocca & P. Marrati (eds.), Stanley Cavell and Value Theory: Aesthetics, Moral Perfectionism, and the Human Condition (New York: Bloomsbury, in press)


“Foucault on Parrhesia and Rhetoric: A Reassessment,” in M. Faustino & H. Telo (eds.), Hadot and Foucault on Ancient Philosophy: Critical Assessments (Leiden: Brill, 2024), pp. 230-240


“Genealogy as a Practice of Truth: Nietzsche, Foucault, Fanon,” in P. Gori & L. Serini (eds.), Practices of Truth in Philosophy: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2023), pp. 235-253


“Foucault, Governmentality, and the Techniques of the Self,” in M. Tazzioli & W. Walters (eds.), Handbook of Governmentality (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2023), pp. 22-37


“La philosophie comme maladie du langage: Pierre Hadot lecteur de Wittgenstein,” in P. Gillot & É. Marrou (eds.), Wittgenstein en France (Paris: Kimé, 2022), pp. 19-40


“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, 2022), pp. 21-30


“L’ordinaire à l’épreuve du perlocutoire,” in P. Fasula & S. Laugier (eds.), Les concepts de l'ordinaire (Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2021), pp. 149-162


“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


“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” (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



Interviews & Public Engagement


Frantz Fanon and the Politics of Truth,” Blog of the American Philosophical Association, March 14, 2023


Histoire de la sexualité de Michel Foucault: Pourquoi voulons-nous tout connaître du sexe?,” Les chemins de la philosophie, France Culture, June 20, 2022 


Techniques of Self-Transformation: Iris Murdoch and Moral Perfectionism,” ABC Religion & Ethics, October 5, 2021


Che cos’è il perfezionismo morale?,”, September 15, 2020


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


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


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



More on my Academia page and Google Scholar page.