Agamben and Politics : a Critical Introduction by Sergei Prozorov

By Sergei Prozorov

Tracing how the good judgment of inoperativity works within the domain names of language, legislation, background and humanity, Agamben and Politics systematically introduces the basic techniques of Agamben's political idea and a severely translates his insights within the wider context of up to date philosophy.

Agamben's commentators and critics are inclined to concentrate on his robust critique of the Western political culture within the Homo Sacer sequence. yet this slender concentration serves to vague the final constitution of Agamben's political concept, that's neither unfavorable nor serious yet affirmative. Sergei Prozorov brings out the affirmative temper of Agamben's political suggestion, concentrating on the idea that of inoperativity, which has been principal to Agamben's paintings from his earliest writings

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After all, our knowledge of human and other beings is entirely dependent on a myriad of apparatuses that constitute them in various positive ways and it is very difficult to imagine what a living being ‘as such’, devoid of any positive predicates, might be. Yet this is precisely the task that Agamben’s entire philosophical project sets itself. Starting from the 1970s Agamben has attempted to elucidate this figure in various domains and contexts and in this book we shall trace his account of a life beyond the apparatuses in the domains of language, statehood, history and humanity.

21). For instance, the word ‘paradigm’ may itself be used paradigmatically as an example of an English noun, for which its own specific denotation must be suspended. : 24). This is precisely the function of the numerous paradigmatic figures that we encounter in Agamben’s works – homo sacer, the Muselmann, the porn star, Bartleby, angels – are all used in the paradigmatic manner, making intelligible the wider ensemble from which they stand out due to the suspension of their own denotation. While Agamben’s key concepts are often introduced in an elliptical, arcane or esoteric manner, their intelligibility is established through the proliferation of such examples.

Secondly, this reversal itself does not take the form of a grand transformation of the ‘unhappy’ condition into a ‘happy’ one. Agamben frequently cites Benjamin’s claim in the essay on Kafka that the coming of the Messiah would not radically change the world by force but would ‘only make a slight adjustment within it’ (Benjamin 1968: 134). This ‘slight adjustment’, after which ‘everything will be as it is now, just a little different’ (Agamben 1993a: 53), is best exemplified by a story presented by Benjamin in the same essay.

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