Biography

Vincenzo Ferrone is historian of Old Regime and Enlightenment in Europe. Born on July 4, 1954 at Lucera, he graduated in history with Franco Venturi on 7/7/1977 at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy, University of Turin. He was fellow at Einaudi Foundation (1979-80) of which, since 2006, he became a member of the scientific committee. He studied social and cultural history of science with Margaret Candee Jacob in the U.S. (1985) as post-doctoral fellow at the Clark Memorial Library, UCLA. In 1989 he became associate professor of modern history at the Faculty of Letters, University of Genoa. The following year he became full professor of History of Enlightenment at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, in 1996 assuming the presidency of the graduate school of western languages ​​and literatures. Since 2000 he has taught modern history at the University of Turin, where, from 2002 to 2010, he was a member of the academic senate and chairman of the planning and development committee(2006-10). Member of the Academy of Sciences of Turin and of numerous Italian and foreign academies and scientific societies, he directs the economic series of modern history, “Essential Library”, of the Laterza Press and, since 2008, he is president of the Firpo Foundation for Political Studies in Turin. The long research and training activities abroad was marked by visits to Paris, Directeur d’Etude, of the Maison de l’Homme (1995), Professeur invité at Institut d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, CNRS (1995-96), Professeur invité at École Normale Supérieure (1998), and professeur invité at the Collège de France (2005), to Oxford as Visiting Professor at St Hugh College (2000), to the U.S. at UCLA and at Princeton, Visitor of Institute for Advanced Study (2004). His scientific research began as a historian of science and scientific revolution, starting from Della Porta to Galileo, Newton and Lavoisier, and resulted in a number of volumes including, Scienza natura religione. Mondo newtoniano e cultura italiana nel primo Settecento, Naples, 1982, American translation, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1995. He has increasingly addressed the study of Italian and European cultural history of the Enlightenment with the production of articles and books ready to understand the interconnection of knowledge and multiple forms of knowledge and social communications in the eighteenth century. In collaboration with Daniel Roche, he has led the international research of historians of science, politics, literature and art merged in the collective volume, L’Illuminismo. Dizionario storico, Roma-Bari, 1997, published in France, Spain and Russia. Since 2000, he began to study the political culture of the Enlightenment, with particular attention to the connection between politics and law, constitutionalism and republicanism, directing the critical edition of the Scienza della legislazione by Gaetano Filangieri, edited in seven volumes, and publishing in 2003, the book, La società giusta ed equa. Repubblicanesimo e diritti dell’uomo in Gaetano Filangieri, translated into French and English. A summary of his thirty years of research on Enlightenment is in the book, Lezioni illuministiche (2010), bringing together the results of his course, Les Lumières dans l’Europe d’Ancien Régime entre histoire et historiographie, held at the Collège de France. His current research is aimed at studying human rights and the emergence of the modern political language of the culture of Enlightenment and its consequences in later centuries, up to the today’s debates, with a particular interest in the religious confrontation on issues of bioethics and civil liberties.