• Lorenzo Chiesa
  • Alberto Toscano Goldsmiths College, University of London


Italian Philosophy, Nihilism, Biopolitics


Introduction to the special issue of Cosmos and History, 'The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics'.


This volume brings together essays by different generations of Italian thinkers which address, whether in affirmative, problematizing or genealogical registers, the entanglement of philosophical speculation and political proposition within recent Italian thought. Nihilism and biopolitics, two concepts that have played a very prominent role within contemporary Italian thought, serve as the thematic foci around which the collection orbits, as it seeks to define the historical and geographical particularity of these notions as well their continuing impact on an international debate. The volume also covers the debate around ‘weak thought' (pensiero debole), the feminist thinking of sexual difference, the re-emergence of political anthropology and the question of communism. The contributors provide contrasting narratives of the development of post-war Italian thought and delineate paths out of the theoretical and political impasses of the present”against what Negri, in the text from which the volume takes its name, calls ‘the Italian desert'. The Italian Difference features texts by Antonio Negri, Pier Aldo Rovatti, Gianni Vattimo, Roberto Esposito, Matteo Mandarini, Luisa Muraro, Mario Tronti, Alberto Toscano, Paolo Virno and Lorenzo Chiesa.

Author Biography

Lorenzo Chiesa

Lecturer, Department of European Languages and Culture, University of Kent, UK




How to Cite

Chiesa, L., & Toscano, A. (2009). Introduction. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 5(1), 1–7. Retrieved from