CultureLab • International Seminar

Daniele Lorenzini

Genealogical Perfectionism: Nietzsche's Genealogy as a Perfectionist Endeavor

20 March | 2 PM (UTC)

10 AM New York
11 AM Brasilia
2 PM Lisbon
3 PM Berlin
For other locations click here.


In this paper, I argue that critical genealogies, and in particular Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality, can be productively read in light of Stanley Cavell’s notion of moral Perfectionism. However, the crucial tasks of self- and world-making, which characterize both moral perfectionism and Nietzsche’s Genealogy, only become intelligible in relation to a dimension of the latter that has so far gone unnoticed: the dimension of the “we”, or of the multiplicity of collective subjects that are the real protagonists of Nietzsche’s Genealogy—and, I argue, of his moral perfectionism as well.


Daniele Lorenzini is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in post-Kantian European philosophy, social and political philosophy, and early analytic philosophy. He is the author, most recently, of The Force of Truth: Critique, Genealogy, and Truth-Telling in Michel Foucault (Chicago, 2023). He is a co-editor of Foucault Studies and of two book series: Philosophie du présent (Vrin) and The Chicago Foucault Project (University of Chicago Press).

Registration required via email to

Event supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia) of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science within the scope of the CultureLab research project “Mapping Philosophy as a Way of Life: An Ancient Model, A Contemporary Approach” (2022.02833.PTDC).