AGAMBEN POTENTIALITY PDF

Giorgio Agamben is one of the leading figures in Italian philosophy and radical political theory, and in recent years, his work has had a deep impact on contemporary scholarship in a number of disciplines in the Anglo-American intellectual world. Beyond this philosophical heritage, Agamben also engages in multilayered discussions of the Jewish Torah and Christian biblical texts, Greek and Roman law, Midrashic literature, as well as of a number of Western literary figures and poets, including Dante, Holderlin, Kafka, Pessoa, and Caproni to name but a few. In this, Agamben argues that the contemporary age is marked by the destruction or loss of experience, in which the banality of everyday life cannot be experienced per se but only undergone, a condition which is in part brought about by the rise of modern science and the split between the subject of experience and of knowledge that it entails. Against this destruction of experience, which is also extended in modern philosophies of the subject such as Kant and Husserl, Agamben argues that the recuperation of experience entails a radical rethinking of experience as a question of language rather than of consciousness, since it is only in language that the subject has its site and origin. Infancy, then, conceptualizes an experience of being without language, not in a temporal or developmental sense of preceding the acquisition of language in childhood, but rather, as a condition of experience that precedes and continues to reside in any appropriation of language.

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Felix Ensslin. Everyone waiting was in the same position, having experienced the disappearance or arrest of a relative, a neighbor or a friend and not knowing what exactly was happening or why it was happening. The contraction of sovereignty at the most radical level exercises, in other words, a kind of appellation or subjectivation. Hans Blumenberg ridiculed both Schmitt and Hegel for hypostasizing a logical necessity into the existence of a secularized Person-God. So Agamben wants to extricate the ghostly reality as real reality, one might say, of sovereignty, which is accessible as and in what he calls experience or a specific kind of experience.

There is a contradiction in this project, however. Let us look briefly at the claims Agamben makes in relation to Aristotle. Philosophers are above all concerned with existence, with the mode or rather modes of existence. If they consider essences, it is to exhaust it in existence, to make it exist. Negation is the absence of a substance; privation is the opposite determination of a secondary quality or predicate.

For the negation means just the absence of unity apousia gar hae apophasis ekeinou estin , while in privation there is also implied an underlying nature of which the privation is predicated. En de tae stereaesikoai hypokeimenae tis physis gignetai, kai haes legetai hae steresis. Neither can be said to cover what Agamben wants to draw out of Aristotle with the reference to adynamis. But it is true that the terms, particularly steresis and the alpha-privative in adynamis , are quite open to interpretation in Aristotle.

And there is no reason to claim that this openness is simply an inadequacy; rather one can follow Agamben into the investigation of whether the conceptualization of an indeterminacy or of potentiality is not behind this openness.

The second is that steresis also appears in the discussion of the pros ti category, that is, the category of relation. The third is that it is also related to violence.

In the Metaphysics , there is discussion of the alpha-privative. Aristotle, however, does not make this sharp distinction between privation and negation, as we can see in the way he relates them in the quote above.

This would then lead to considering the problem not simply a linguistic or logical one. But this is only an aside, which we can return to at some other point. Mortley and most other commentators are therefore unwilling to draw any ontological conclusions from these facts.

To say that God is invisible or unknowable may simply mean that he is seen and known only with difficulty, and it is clear that the rather airy use of the alpha privative in this period [i. Here we have the place of the alpha-privative as pointing towards what is neither not one thing nor not something in relation to another, but, since it is negated with a privation and not a negation, still points to a presence or existence of some sort.

And, since it appears pros ti , we can say it is a certain relating existence. But even without this speculation Agamben finds another foothold for his intuition, for it points to a kind of hexis of a capacity one has that is something and, at the same time nothing. Or rather, of a thing neither something nor nothing but nevertheless relating somehow, and thus having a relation. A bit earlier, Aristotle himself states:.

And if privation is not in a sense having, things are called capable homonymously. To be free is not simply to have the power to do this or that thing, nor is it simply to have the power to refuse to do this or that thing.

This is why freedom is freedom for both good and evil. It remains constitutively in ambiguity. Here we return to the beginning. It is both the product of sovereignty and its overcoming in the sense of being separate from it. Here also would be the relation to the phantasm of the Imaginary Father noted in passing above.

But this is an argument for another place and time. Emphasis added. Wood Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , pp. Robert M. Is not the living law that emerges here, after the collapse of potestas and auctoritas , and the ensuing or parallel shift from state -iustitium to family-death quite similar to the erection of the totem law of the dead father, more powerful than any literally embodied living law or rather, its necessary double, spectral support?

Until a new and coherent ontology of potentiality beyond the steps that have been made in this direction by Spinoza, Schelling, Nietzsche, and Heidegger has replaced the ontology founded on the primacy of actuality and its relation to potentiality, a political theory freed from the aporias of sovereignty remains unthinkable. This is why, if potentiality is to have its own consistency and not always disappear immediately into actuality, it is necessary that potentiality be able not to pass over into actuality, that potentiality constitutively be the potentiality not to do or be , or, as Aristotle says, that potentiality be also im-potentiality adynamia.

II ed. Eine philosophisch-psychoanalytische Untersuchung. The dissertation was defended in July and is currently being prepared for publication in the Subjektile -Series of Diaphanes Publishers. Anthony Flew Oxford: Blackwell, , pp. Meine Sprache Deutsch. Mark Potocnik Hg. Beyond Potentialities?

Politics between the Possible and the Impossible. Nearly the whole history of political thought is spanned between two poles: one of founding, establishing, and justifying a stable and just order on one side and of justified transformation and necessary break with that same order on the other side.

Between institution and emancipation, reform and revolution, the question of possibility is always arising for politics. Are there possibilities to change the order of society? Are there possibilities for a different justice? Where to find them and how to define them? Are they already present in the situation, or do they have to be actively created? Or does one have to rethink collective emancipation in a way that it does not rely upon given possibilities?

The question of possibility is raised in philosophy itself in different terms: as a question of potentiality and potentials but also as a question of the impossibilities of changing political order. The present volume assembles articles that investigate this question and the new guise it took from different perspectives and highlight its relevance for contemporary political thought. Nutzerkonto Meine Daten Abmelden. Potentiality in Agamben S.

A bit earlier, Aristotle himself states: but if privation is in a sense having, everything will be capable of having something, so that things are capable both by having something, i. Politics between the Possible and the Impossible Broschur, Seiten. Introduction Mark Potocnik, Frank Ruda, Back to the Factory. Another World is Possible. Logics of Change. From Potentiality to Inexistence Bruno Bosteels. Proletarian Ideology.

Endless Expropriations of the Body. Strategy and the Passions. The Will of the People.

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Giorgio Agamben (1942– )

Potentialities : Collected Essays in Philosophy. Giorgio Agamben , Daniel Heller-Roazen. This book collects fifteen major philosophical essays written over a period of more than twenty years by acclaimed Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. The volume opens with an introduction in which the editor situates Agamben's work with respect to both the history of philosophy and contemporary European thought. The essays that follow articulate a series of theoretical confrontations with privileged figures in the history of philosophy, politics, and criticism, from Plato to Spinoza, Aristotle to Deleuze, Carl Schmitt to Benjamin, Hegel to Aby Warburg, and Heidegger to Derrida. Three fundamental concepts organize the collection as a whole: language, in the sense not of particular statements but rather the very taking place of speech, the pure fact of language's existence; history, as it appears from a perspective in which tradition, transmission, and memory reach their messianic fulfillment; and potentiality, understood as a fundamental problem of metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of language. All these topics converge in the final part of the book, in which Agamben offers an extensive reading of Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" as a work that puts potentiality and actuality, possibility and reality, in an altogether new light.

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‘I Would Prefer Not To’: Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby and the Potentiality of the Law

This book collects fifteen major philosophical essays written over a period of more than twenty years by acclaimed Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. The volume opens with an introduction in which the editor situates Agamben's work with respect to both the history of philosophy and contemporary European thought. The essays that follow articulate a series of theoretical confrontations with privileged figures in the history of philosophy, politics, and criticism, from Plato to Spinoza, Aristotle to Deleuze, Carl Schmitt to Benjamin, Hegel to Aby Warburg, and Heidegger to Derrida. Three fundamental concepts organize the collection as a whole: language, in the sense not of particular statements but rather the very taking place of speech, the pure fact of language's existence; history, as it appears from a perspective in which tradition, transmission, and memory reach their messianic fulfillment; and potentiality, understood as a fundamental problem of metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of language. All these topics converge in the final part of the book, in which Agamben offers an extensive reading of Melville's short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" as a work that puts potentiality and actuality, possibility and reality, in an altogether new light. This volume is indicative of Agamben's broad range of interests. Despite this range of interests, however, a sustained commitment to certain theoretical issues—particularly language and history—lends the volume a coherence.

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Felix Ensslin. Everyone waiting was in the same position, having experienced the disappearance or arrest of a relative, a neighbor or a friend and not knowing what exactly was happening or why it was happening. The contraction of sovereignty at the most radical level exercises, in other words, a kind of appellation or subjectivation. Hans Blumenberg ridiculed both Schmitt and Hegel for hypostasizing a logical necessity into the existence of a secularized Person-God. So Agamben wants to extricate the ghostly reality as real reality, one might say, of sovereignty, which is accessible as and in what he calls experience or a specific kind of experience. There is a contradiction in this project, however. Let us look briefly at the claims Agamben makes in relation to Aristotle.

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