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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Professor Michael Moriarty

Michael Moriarty
Emeritus Professor of French
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 

Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom



Michael Moriarty was Drapers Professor of French from 2011 to 2023. He is a graduate of St John’s College. From 1982 to 1995 he was a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, and from 1986 to 1995 a University Lecturer in French. Between 1995 and 2011 he was Professor of French at Queen Mary, University of London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques. His research deals with early modern French literature and thought. His most recent book is Pascal: Reasoning and Belief (Oxford University Press, 2020). He is the co-editor (with Jeremy Jennings) of The Cambridge History of French Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2019). 


Teaching interests: 

Early modern French literature (16th to 18th centuries). 

Intellectual history.


Research interests: 

History of French thought, 16th to 18th centuries, especially Descartes and Pascal.

Seventeenth-century French literature.

Professor Moriarty welcomes inquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students with research interests relevant to his interests.


Recent research projects: 



Published works: 

Taste and Ideology in Seventeenth-Century France (Cambridge University Press, 1988)

Roland Barthes (Polity Press, 1991)

Early Modern French Thought: the Age of Suspicion (Oxford University Press, 2003)

Fallen Nature, Fallen Selves: Early Modern French Thought II (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Disguised Vices: Theories of Virtue in Early Modern French Thought (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Pascal: Reasoning and Belief (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)


Co-edited with Nicholas Hammond:

Evocations of Eloquence: Rhetoric, Literature and Religion in Early Modern France; A Festschrift for Peter Bayley (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012).

Co-edited with Jeremy Jennings:

The Cambridge History of French Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)