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Séjour court


Philosophie - Italie

Research topics



Clandestine manuscripts represent a very peculiar kind of philosophical communication in the modern age. One can consider Jean Bodin’s Colloquium Heptaplomeres at the end of 16th century as the prototype, but about 200 texts indexed, for about 2000 copies which are spread in public and private libraries, mostly date back to the second half of 17th and to 18th century.
From the libertine period to the full development of the Enlightenment, clandestine manuscripts went through an age of important cultural changes and they mirror various trends. One cannot speak about clandestine philosophy but in the plural (“clandestine philosophies”), taking into account that these texts borrow on Montaigne’s and Bayle’s scepticism, on Descartes’s and Malebranche’s rationalism, on Spinoza’s metaphysics and Hobbes’s mechanism, on Locke’s empiricist methodology. Above all, they explore new ways combining different philosophical paths, being persuaded that European intellectual history has to be read “between the lines”, and that one should trace hidden truths behind official positions of schools and philosophers.
An interesting and peculiar feature of this clandestine philosophical literature is the interest in comparison between the great Mediterranean religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam. At the core of this research one needs to put a hypothesis to verify: whether these clandestine texts relating to criticism of religion were able to flee from the dangers on anti-Semitism and aversion to Islam. We shall try also to reveal a trend of philo-Semitism which goes across the field of clandestine philosophy.
The final target of this research project will be the writing of a book: The history of clandestine thought from Bodin to Meslier, which I am currently preparing.

Activities / Resume


Gianenrico Paganini is a professor of history of philosophy at the University of Piedmont Orientale, at Vercelli and is a member of the researcher center of the Academia dei Lincei in Rome. He is a specialist of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries’ philosophy, but also worked on contemporary philosophy (especially of XXth century’s French philosophy). He got the award prix Labruyère of the Acédémie Française in 2009 for his book Skepsis (Paris, Vrin, 2008) and the award for philosophy of the Academia dei Lincei in 2011. He is the author of thirty one books and more than one hundred and fifty articles and chapters.


  • Analisi della fede e critica della ragione nella filosofia di Pierre Bayle (Pubblicazioni del "Centro di studi del pensiero filosofico del '500 e del '600" del CNR - Serie I: Studi, 18), La Nuova Italia, Firenze 1980, pp. x-440.
  • La filosofia della seconda metà del Novecento (Storia della filosofia, già dir. da M. Dal Pra), vol. XI, t. I-II, seconda edizione interamente riscritta e ampliata, a cura di Gianni Paganini, Piccin/Vallardi, Padova 1998, pp. XXXV-1762.
  • Les philosophies clandestines à l’âge classique, PUF, Paris 2005, pp. 154
  • Introduzione alle filosofie clandestine, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2008, pp. 182
  • Skepsis. Le débat des modernes sur le scepticisme. Montaigne-Le Vayer- Campanella – Hobbes- Descartes - Bayle Coll. “De Pétrarque à Descartes”, 78, Paris, Vrin 2008, pp. 448
  • Theophrastus redivivus, edizione prima e critica a cura di G. Canziani e G. Paganini (Pubblicazioni del "Centro" cit. - Serie III: Testi, 6), volume I, La Nuova Italia Editrice, Firenze 1981, pp. CXXIV-338.
  • Theophrastus redivivus, edizione prima e critica a cura di G. Canziani e G. Paganini (Pubblicazioni del "Centro" cit., - Serie III: Testi, 7), volume II, La Nuova Italia Editrice, Firenze 1982, pp. 340-998.
  • Voltaire, Zadig, trad. it. di G. Paganini, Feltrinelli, Milano 1994
  • Thomas Hobbes, Moto, luogo e tempo [De motu, loco et tempore], “Classici della filosofia), UTET, Torino 2010, p. 708 (Isbn: 978-88-02-08321-6)
  • David Hume, Dialoghi sulla religione naturale. Edizione bilingue. Introduzione, traduzione e note di Gianni Paganini, Milano, BUR Classici, 2013, p. 432 (Isbn 978-88-17-05496-6)
  • Materia actuosa. Antiquité, Age classique, Lumières. Mélanges en l’honneur d’Olivier Bloch, recueillis par M. Benitez, A. McKenna, G. Paganini et J. Salem, Champion, Paris 2000, pp. 748
  • La filosofia della seconda metà del Novecento (Storia della filosofia, già dir. Da M. Dal Pra), vol. XI, t. I-II, seconda edizione interamente riscritta e ampliata, a cura di Gianni Paganini, Piccin/Vallardi, Padova 1998, pp. XXXV-1762.
  • La filosofia del Novecento e la sua storia. Questioni di metodo e prospettive di ricerca, Atti del Convegno di Vercelli, 31 maggio – 1 giugno 1999, a cura di Gianni Paganini, in “Rivista di Storia della Filosofia”, a. LVI (2001), pp. 181-305
  • Scepticisme, Clandestinité et Libre Pensée / Scepticism, Clandestinity and Free-Thinking, Actes des tables rondes organisées à Dublin dans le cadre du Congrès des Lumières (Tenth International Congress on the Enlightenment), sous la dir. De Gianni Paganini, Miguel Benitez et James Dybikowski, Champion, Paris 2002, pp. 382
  • The Return of Scepticism. From Hobbes and Descartes to Bayle, ed. By Gianni Paganini, “International Archives of the History of Ideas”, 184, Kluwer, Dordrecht-Boston-London 2003, pp. Xix-486
  • Der Garten und die Moderne. Epikureische Moral und Politik vom Humanismus bis zur Aufklärung. Arbeitsgrespraech der Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, 23. Und 24 November 2000, hrsg. Von Gianni Paganini und Edoardo Tortarolo, „Quaestiones“, Frommann -Holzboog, Stuttgart 2004, p. 410.
  • Pierre Bayle dans la République des Lettres. Philosophie, religion, critique, éds. A. McKenna et G. Paganini, Champion, Paris, 2004
  • Pluralismo e religione civile. Una prospettiva storica e filosofica, a cura di G. Paganini e E. Tortarolo, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2004
  • Illuminismo. Un vademecum, a cura di G. Paganini e E. Tortarolo, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2008, pp. 320
  • Renaissance Scepticisms, ed. by. G. Paganini and J. R. Maia Neto, “International Archives of the History of Ideas”, Springer, Dordrecht-Boston 2008, pp. 314
  • Skepticism in the Modern Age. Building on the Work of Richard Popkin, ed. By J. R. Maia Neto, G. Paganini and J. Ch. Laursen, Brill, Leiden-Boston, 2009, pp. viii-390
  • Le scepticisme des Lumières, éd. par G. Paganini et S. Charles, Saint-Etienne, Publications de l’Université de Saint-Etienne, in « Libertinage et Philosophie », 12, 2010, p. 139-234
  • Hobbes and Renaissance Philosophy, n° speciale di “Hobbes Studies”, ed. by G. Paganini, 23 (2010), p. 1-104
  • L’umanesimo scientifico dal Rinascimento all’Illuminismo, a cura di Lorenzo Bianchi e Gianni Paganini, Liguori, Napoli, 2010, pp. X-382
  • Skepticism and Political Thought in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, ed. by John Christian Laursen and Gianni Paganini, University of Toronto Press in association with the UCLA Center for 17th and 18th cent. Studies and the William Clark Memorial Library, Toronto, 2015, p. 294 [Isbn: 978-1-4426-4921-7]
  • Pour et contre le scepticisme. Théories et Pratiques de l’Antiquité aux Lumières. Textes recueillis et édités par Élodie Argaud, Nawalle El Yadari, Sébastien Charles et Gianni Paganini, Honoré Champion, Paris, 2015, p. 310 [ISBN 978-2-7453-2805-2]
  • Early Modern Philosophers and the Renaissance Legacy, ed. By Cecilia Muratori and Gianni Paganini, “International Archives of the History of Ideas”, 220, Springer, 2016, p. 298 [ISSN 0066-6610]
  • Philosophie et Libre Pensée / Philosophy and Free-Thought XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, coll. Lorenzo Bianchi e Nicole Gengoux, Paris, H. Champion, 2017, pp. 580 [Isbn 978-2-7453-3138-0]
  • Scepticisme et pensée morale. De Michel de Montaigne à Stanley Cavell, sous la dir. de Jean-Charles Darmon, Philippe Desan et Gianni Paganini, Paris, Hermann, 2017, pp.