La Naissance de la science politique. Autour de Marsile de Padoue [The Birth of Political Science. Around Marsilius of Padua], Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2018, 397p.

Classified in morality and considered at the end of the Middle Ages as a simple practice, an art of governing, politics could not properly claim the title of science, reserved for purely theoretical knowledge. At the turn of the century between the 13th and 14th centuries, some thinkers nevertheless sought to give a new meaning to civil science by using, like Dante, demonstrative reasoning in their treatises. It is only with the Defensor pacis of Marsilius of Padua (1324) that this discipline, both theoretical and practical, manages to get out of the realm of art. By producing a true discourse of the method inspired by medicine, The Paduan thus makes possible the birth of political science.

Dante. L’esprit pèlerin [Dante. The Pilgrim Spirit], Paris, Points-Sagesse, Seuil, 2016, 176p.

Dante’s posterity is explained by the universal dimension of his personal experience, his hopes or his doubts, delivering a timeless questioning about the very status of the human subject. In this metaphysical journey that is the Divine Comedy, the poet describes the metamorphosis of the individual from the sensible to the spiritual, the birth of an authentic subject capable of accepting his mortal condition and of gaining access to what Dante names, in Paradise, the trasumanar. This neologism, by which he translates an experience of surpassing the self and the human, is undoubtedly the key to reading from which his work makes sense: amorous disappointments, condemnations or exile, it shows the long road traveled by this “spirit pilgrim “, from the human to the superhuman. A metamorphosis of self which is also a metamorphosis of love in all its forms.

L’Humanisme de Michel Foucault [The Humanism of Michel Foucault], Paris, Le sens figuré, 2008, 157p. (Korean translation, 미셸 푸코 의 휴머니즘, Seoul, The Open Books Co., 2010).

Michel Foucault, humanist? It is the paradoxical a priori thesis of this illustrated introduction to the thinker of … the “death of man” – a death, moreover, less tragic than we have been told. Michel Foucault is a humanist, developing, through his “archeology of knowledge” and his clinical descriptions of social mechanisms, a renewed vision of man taken in his difference, in his variety rather than in his supposed unity. In a didactic way and through drawing, the book follows the path of this thought, from an anti-humanism of facade to an authentic humanism of “care of oneself”. A thought of resistance, of freedom to reclaim within a web of truths, social norms and control practices.

La Philosophie de la lumière chez Dante. Du Convivio à la Divine comédie [The Philosophy of Light in Dante. From Convivio to Divine Comedy], Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2016, 477p. (1st edition: Paris, Honoré Champion, 2004).

Dante’s thought lies at the confluence of different philosophical traditions from Antiquity and the Middle Ages and finds its completion, not in his strictly “philosophical” treatises, but in the verses of Paradise. If the poetic form does not make it possible to reconstruct the demonstrations of rational thought in their entirety, they are not absent from the Divine Comedy, as this reading attempts to show. By highlighting the modifications that the concepts undergo between the Convivio and the Sacred Poem, it is possible to reconstruct a philosophy that is resolutely placed in the Aristotelian wake of a natural philosophy, integrating at the same time the Greek, Arab and Latin traditions. The study of the notion of “light”, in its dual physical and metaphysical meaning, allows us to grasp the richness and originality of this thought, because it makes it possible to articulate the various aspects of the work in a harmonious whole and coherent, which is at the confluence of Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism. Heir to medieval thought, Dante proposes a new philosophy that closes an era and opens on the Renaissance.

Alkindi, De Radiis (translation and presentation), Paris, Allia, 2003, 112p.

“He who is said to be the wisest, and who is, is the one who perceives in things and their properties what is least perceptible. Hence the fact that those who are formed by the holy desire for wisdom work a lot to understand the hidden qualities of things. ”
We know the text of De radiis only by its Latin translation. The author of this translation has subtitled the book “Theory of magical arts”, so much the thought that expresses there can appear as esoteric. In fact Al-Kindi wants to be entirely rational and seeks to make us understand how, through his knowledge and in a progressive way, man is capable of generating changes in things. At the center of the work is therefore the theory of rays, based on the postulate of “universal harmony”, which presupposes relations between all things, whether celestial or terrestrial. The treaty of Al-Kindi had an extraordinary repercussion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and nourished the whole school of so-called “magical” thought that Marsile Ficin, Pic de la Mirandole and Giordano Bruno studied.

Premières leçons sur les trois Lettres d’Épicure [First Lessons on the Three Letters of Epicurus], Paris, Major-Bac, PUF, 1998, 128p.

Deadly and fragile, subject to a nature that he often does not understand, man lives in perpetual fear, in the fear of the gods, of pain and death. Epicurus sketches out a new way of thinking about the human individual and develops a true theory of happiness. Often slandered and rejected, Epicureanism crosses the history of thought as a constant challenge that still questions us today. Students are invited to discover a thought that is not so much a philosophical system as a method of living happily. By following the coherence of this physical and moral doctrine developed in three Letters, they will be able to initiate themselves to a practice of philosophy, where knowledge is remedied.

  • Dante, Convivio, traduction by Philippe Audegean, Introduction, commentary and notes by Didier Ottaviani, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 2019 (forthcoming).
  • The Banquet of Montaigne, Points-Seuil, Paris, 2019 (forthcoming).
  • Medieval Political Philosophy and the Emergence of Modernity: East / West, M. Abbès and D. Ottaviani (eds.), Classiques Garnier, Paris, 2018.
  • Notes “Boethius”, “Dante”, “Thomas Aquinas”, “Eternity”, “Bliss”, in Happiness. Historical and Critical Dictionary, M. Gally (ed.), CNRS Éditions, Paris.
  • “Plato, Platonism and Neoplatonism”, in D. Roche et al. (Ed.), Historical Dictionary of European Civilization, Actes Sud, Paris, 2018.

Member of the internal editorial team and editor of records for the Grand dictionary of philosophy, M. Blay (dir.), Larousse, Paris, 2003 (writing of records: Averroism, Avicennism, Memory, Mercantilism, Metaphysics, Microcosm- Macrosome, Midlife, Misology, World, Morality, Multiple, Mystic, Myth, Naturalism, Nature, Negation, Nobility, Non-Being, Noumena, Purpose, Object, Ontic, Ontology, Order, Organon, Tool, Peace, Personality, Person, Phenomenon, Philosophy).




  • « Connaissance et digestion : Montaigne et l’alimentation [Knowledge and Digestion: Montaigne and Food] », in Métiers et alimentation à l’époque moderne, N. Peyrebonne et N. Lucas Fiorato (dir.), Presses Universitaires de Rennes/Presses Universitaires de Tours, 2018.
  • « Montaigne : une morale relative ? [Montaigne: a relative morality?] », in Entre nature et histoire. Mœurs et coutumes dans la philosophie moderne, F. Toto et L. Simonetta (dir.), Classiques Garnier, Paris, 2018.
  • « Montaigne, médecin de l’âme [Montaigne, Physician of the Soul] », in Les origines de l’anthropologie moderne en Europe (XVIe-XVIIIe siècles) : philosophie et médecine, M. Mestre (dir.), Publication de la Casa de Velàsquez, Madrid, 2018.
  • « Les paradigmes néoplatoniciens chez Marsile de Padoue [Neoplatonic paradigms in Marsile of Padua] », in La pensée en devenir. La réception du platonisme et du néoplatonisme dans l’histoire de la philosophie, M. Lequan (dir.), Peeters, Louvain, 2018.
  • “At the dawn of the Renaissance: image, history and self-construction in Dante” (in Portuguese), in C. Azar et P. Lavelle (dirs.), Imagem e História, Editora da UFF, Nitéroi, 2018.
  • « La production de vérité : aveu et confession [The production of truth: the confession] », in Foucault et la Renaissance, O. Guerrier (dir.), Presses Universitaires du Midi, Toulouse, 2018.
  • « La scientificité de la politique chez Marsile de Padoue [The Scientificity of Politics in Marsile of Padua] », in Philosophie politique médiévale et émergence de la modernité : Orient/Occident, M. Abbès et D. Ottaviani (dir.), Classiques Garnier.
  • « L’impérialisme de Dante [Dante’s Imperialism] », dans Philosophie politique médiévale et émergence de la modernité : Orient/Occident, M. Abbès et D. Ottaviani (dir.), Classiques Garnier.


Didier Ottaviani, « Du peuple souverain : Marsile de Padoue et Rousseau [Of the Sovereign People: Marsile of Padua and Rousseau] », in Rousseau, la République, la Paix, C. Miqueu et G. Galice (dir.), Paris, Honoré Champion, 2017, p. 35-50.


Didier Ottaviani et Arnaud Milanese, « Le rôle de l’imagination dans la construction du sujet chez Montaigne et Hobbes [The Role of the Imagination in the Construction of the Subject in Montaigne and Hobbes] », dans L’axe Montaigne-Hobbes : anthropologie et politique, E. Ferrari et T. Gontier (dir.), Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2016, p. 47-74.


Didier Ottaviani, « Foi et raison : remarques autour d’un paradigme métaphysique [Faith and Reason: Remarks Around a Metaphysical Paradigm] », in P. Girard (dir.) Les métaphysiques des Lumières, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2016, p. 17-34.


Didier Ottaviani, « Giordano Bruno et l’athéisme [Giordano Bruno and Atheism] », in Athéisme voilé aux temps modernes, A. Stacquet (dir.), Académie Royale de Belgique, Bruxelles, 2013, p. 101-118.


Didier Ottaviani, « Élasticité et temporalité des images [Elasticity and Temporality of Images] », dans L’engendrement des images en bande dessinée, H. Garric (dir.), Presses Universitaires François Rabelais, Tours, 2013, p. 127-142.


Didier Ottaviani, « A pôtencia da linguagem em Dante », dans Neoplatonismo. Mistica e linguagem, M. R. Pinheiro et C. M. Azar Filho (dir.), Editora da UFF, Niteroi, 2013, p. 141-163.


Didier Ottaviani, « Dante, poeta do Absoluto e das metáforas divinas », interview for the Brazilian online magazine Revìsta do Instituto Humanitas Unisinos (IHU on-line), n ° 419, May 20, 2013.2013.

Didier Ottaviani, « Cartésianisme, formes substantielles et création continuée [Cartesianism, Substantial Forms and Continued Creation] », in Qu’est-ce qu’être cartésien ?, D. Kolesnik-Antoine (dir.), ENS-Éditions, Lyon, 2013, p. 69-78.


Didier Ottaviani, « Habitude, coutume et accoutumance [Habit, Custom and Addiction] », in Les figures de la coutume. Autour du Discours de la servitude volontaire, L. Gerbier et O. Guerrier (dir.), Classiques Garnier, 2012, p. 135-147.


Didier Ottaviani, « ¿ Qué es el Agustinismo ? » in Agustín en España (siglos XVI y XVII) : Aspectos de Filosofía, Teología y Espiritualidad, Revue Criticón, n°111-112, Presse Universitaires du Mirail, Toulouse, 2011, p. 11-24.


others articles (in french)
  • « La Renaissance : de la magie à la science », dans Au temps des grandes découvertes : quand l’Europe renaît, A. Staquet (dir.), Éditions de l’Université de Mons, 2010, p. 21-35.
  • « Le Pape et l’Empereur », dans la revue en ligne Erytheis, n°3, sept. 2008.
  • Commentaire linéaire du Convivio de Dante (Livres I et II), Cours du CNED pour l’agrégation externe de philosophie, 2008.
  • « Montaigne, méthode et interprétation », dans Réforme, Humanisme, Renaissance, n° 64, juin-décembre 2007, p. 59-72.
  • « Un monde en gestation (sur saint Augustin) », dans Magazine littéraire, n°439, février 2005.
  • « La Méthode scientifique de Pietro d’Abano dans le Conciliator », dans Méthodes et statut des sciences au Moyen Âge et à la Renaissance, C. Grellard (dir.), Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, Lille, 2004.
  • « La prophétie comme achèvement intellectuel à la fin du moyen âge », Nouvelle Revue du Seizième siècle, n° 21/1, Droz, Paris-Genève, 2003.
  • « Foucault-Deleuze : de la discipline au contrôle », dans Lectures de Michel Foucault II, ENS-Editions, Lyon, 2003.
  • « Le paradigme de l’embryon à la fin du Moyen Âge », dans la revue en ligne Astérion, n°1, 1er juin 2003 (
  • « Le Philosophe et le politique : de Dante à Marsile de Padoue », dans Le Philosophe, le sage et le politique. De Machiavel aux lumières, Presses de l’Université de Saint-Étienne, 2002.
  • « La Notion de materia prima chez Dante », dans Qu’est-ce que la matière ? ; F. Monnoyeur (dir.), « Biblio essais », Le Livre de Poche, Paris, 2000.
  • « Le Peuple en puissance : Marsile de Padoue », dans De la puissance du peuple. I. La démocratie de Platon à Rawls, Y. Vargas (dir.), publication du GEMR, Paris, 2000.
  • «L’Intellectuel laïque : de Siger de Brabant à Pietro d’Abano », dans Les Athéismes philosophiques, Kimé, Paris, 2000.
  • « De l’Unité de l’âme à la métamorphose dans la philosophie de Dante », dans Les Âmes, C. Duflo (dir.), Presses Universitaires Franc-Comtoises, Besançon, 1999.
  • « Le Statut du monstre dans l’art roman », dans La Sculpture romane au regard de la philosophie, Autrement Dit, Poitiers, 1996.
  • « Le statut de la machine dans les Carnets de Léonard de Vinci », Otrante, n°5, Kimé, Paris, 1993, p. 7-15.