Antonio Negri (1933-2023)

Antonio Negri, a well-known Italian political philosopher and Spinoza scholar, has died.

Negri’s writings include a trilogy of books in political philosophy co-authored with Michael Hardt (Duke), the first of which was Empire, books on Spinoza such as Subversive Spinoza: (un)contemporary variations and The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza’s Metaphysics and Politics, and many other works. You can learn more about his writings here.

Negri earned his PhD and had his first academic appointment at the University of Padua. His life was hardly that of the typical academic. In the late 1970s, he was accused of leading the Red Brigades, an Italian Marxist military group, orchestrating a political murder, and plotting to overthrow the government. These charges were dropped but, according to Wikipedia, he was convicted of being “the instigator” of the murder of a political activist and having “morally concurred” with the murder of a police officer during an attempted bank robbery. After a few years in prison he ran for a seat in the Italian legislature and won, getting himself freed from prison on the basis of parliamentary immunity. He then fled to Paris, where he taught at Paris VIII (Vincennes) and the Collège international de philosophie (which had been co-founded by Jacques Derrida). He returned to Italy in 1997 to serve out the rest of his prison sentence, which had been reduced, and was released in 2003.

He died in Paris on December 16th, 2023.


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