Pierre Force

Professor, Department of French and Romance Philology

Columbia University

Pierre Force received his academic training in France, where he was a fellow of the École normale supérieure. He took his BA in Classics (1979), doctorate in French (1987), and habilitation (1994) at the Sorbonne. He first came to the United States in 1984 as a lecturer at Yale University, and he joined the Columbia faculty in 1987. His field of research is seventeenth and eighteenth-century literature and intellectual history. He is the author of Le Problème herméneutique chez Pascal (Paris: Vrin, 1989), Molière ou Le Prix des choses (Paris: Nathan, 1994), and Self-Interest before Adam Smith (Cambridge University Press, 2003; paperback, 2007). He chaired the French Department from 1997 to 2007 and is also affiliated with the Department of History. He received the Columbia Distinguished Faculty award in 2005 and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2009. He has been a visiting professor at Princeton, Paris VII, Paris XIII, and the École normale supérieure. His teaching interests include French classicism and its reception, literature and eloquence, the history of hermeneutics, and the development of moral and political thought in early modern Europe.