Download Giorgio Agamben: Beyond the Threshold of Deconstruction by Kevin Attell PDF

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By Kevin Attell

Agamben's notion has been considered as descending basically from the paintings of Heidegger, Benjamin, and, extra lately, Foucault. This booklet complicates and expands that constellation via displaying how all through his profession Agamben has continually and heavily engaged (critically, sympathetically, polemically, and sometimes implicitly) the paintings of Derrida as his leader modern interlocutor.

The publication starts off via studying the advance of Agamben's key innovations infancy, Voice, potentiality from the Sixties to nearly 1990 and indicates how those ideas constantly draw on and reply to particular texts and ideas of Derrida. the second one half examines the political flip in Agamben's and Derrida's pondering from approximately 1990 onward, starting with their investigations of sovereignty and violence and relocating via their parallel remedies of juridical energy, the relation among people and animals, and eventually messianism and the politics to come.

"In this extraordinary ebook, Kevin Attell adjustments our knowing of Giorgio Agamben. to any extent further we'll need to see Agamben's paintings, from the very starting, as in discussion with Derrida. accordingly an immense philosopher turns into nonetheless extra major to the form of up to date eu theory."--Simon in the course of, collage of Queensland

"Giorgio Agamben: past the brink of Deconstruction is an vastly formidable e-book overlaying the breadth of Giorgio Agamben's writings, from his earliest paintings on potentiality and discourse up via his later political and theological writings. Attell's interpretations, proficient by means of massive philosophical erudition, providing self reliant interpretations of the entire texts that he treats, are paradigms for paintings on thought. this can be one of many optimum quality works of concept or continental philosophy to seem in a protracted time."--Joshua Kates, Indiana University

"This remarkably rigorous, lucid, and open-minded research information the real ameliorations among Agamben and Derrida, anything many could regard as minor variations in a equally deconstructive version, yet which Derrida's overdue seminars at the Beast and the Sovereign verify to be profound. Attell meticulously lines the trajectories of Derrida's and Agamben's careers, demonstrating in a sublime and textually established type the incisive nature of Agamben's engagement with Derrida, how such a lot of of Agamben's significant themes--potentiality, sovereignty, ban, messianic time, play and profanation, and the animal--could be regarded as serious, certainly polemical, responses to Derrida's philosophical undertaking. The robust contrast among Agamben's and Derrida's (and Benjamin's and Schmitt's) notions of messianic time is very dazzling."--Eleanor Kaufman, collage of California, l. a.

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Additional info for Giorgio Agamben: Beyond the Threshold of Deconstruction

Example text

Saussure,” Agamben writes, “represents in fact the precious instance of a philologist who, caught in the net of language, felt, as Nietzsche did, the insufficiency of philology, and who had to become a philosopher or succumb. Saussure did not abandon linguistic study as Nietzsche had done, but clos[ed] himself for thirty years in a silence that appeared inexplicable to many” (S 152). This rather melancholy portrait of the linguist is very much at odds with the one we find in Of Grammatology, where Derrrida casts Saussure as a vehement defender against the heresy of the written sign.

In a discussion of the “principle of difference” as the “condition of signification,” Derrida cites this key passage from Saussure: The conceptual side of value is made up solely of relations and differences with respect to the other terms of language, and the same can Agamben and Derrida Read Saussure 29 be said of its material side. . Everything that has been said up to this point boils down to this: in language there are only differences. Even more important: a difference generally implies positive terms between which the difference is set up; but in language there are only differences without positive terms.

And his point is to show that, since Saussure (even though he also “opens the field of a general grammatology” [G 43]) does have recourse to that presence, indeed does so in a strident, “incensed” manner, his thinking is (either willfully or unconsciously) blind to what his own argument cannot help but reveal under the pressure of deconstructive reading—namely, that the spoken and the written, and the signifier and the signified, are equally caught up in an irreducible, undecidable play of their reciprocal difference.

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