‘The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics’ by Lorenzo Chiesa & Alberto Toscano

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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 in theoretical discussions in Italy, 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 trace 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’.

Contributors. Antonio Negri, Pier Aldo Rovatti, Gianni Vattimo, Roberto Esposito, Matteo Mandarini, Luisa Muraro, Mario Tronti, Alberto Toscano, Paolo Virno, Lorenzo Chiesa.