David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1):139-156 (2011)
It is often pointed out that Agamben’s most profound disagreement with Hannah Arendt is his rejection of anything like a “right to have rights” that would guarantee the belonging to a political space. I want to suggest, however, that the subject of rights in Agamben’s thought is more complicated, arguing in this essay that Agamben’s critique is not with the concept of human rights per se, but with the declaration of modern rights. In other words, this essay will explore how Agamben’s analysis of language, especially vis-à-vis the figure standing outside the gates of the city, allows for rethinking the subject of rights. This analysis suggests that when thinking the notion of right, we must move from the declaration of right rooted in logos to the material dimension of language that makes such a declaration possible. Calling into question Aristotle’s claim that the human being is political because the human being is zoon logon echon, Agamben’s analysis shows that there is no place where the “I” can transform itself into speech. There is always a “non-place” of articulation that is not something outside the polis, but at the very heart of the polis itself. This non-place marks the exposure of the human as such. Following Agamben, I argue that human rights are not declared, but are exposed in our very appearance, our very being-manifest. I argue that our being-manifest provides for a new notion of human rights, rooted in the ontological condition of appearance that carries with it the right of exposure, without identity, to appear. In conclusion, I consider the relation of language and law in Agamben’s thought, asking whether Agamben’s critique of the juridical and his call for a politics without law preclude any resurrection of human rights?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Louis Pojman (1991). A Critique of Contemporary Egalitarianism. Faith and Philosophy 8 (4):481-504.
Manuel Toscano (2012). Language Rights as Collective Rights: Some Conceptual Considerations on Language Rights. Res Publica 27:109-118.
J. Ci (2005). Taking the Reasons for Human Rights Seriously. Political Theory 33 (2):243 - 265.
David Little (1999). Rethinking Human Rights: A Review Essay on Religion, Relativism, and Other Matters. [REVIEW] Journal of Religious Ethics 27 (1):149 - 177.
Barbara de Mori (2001). Human Rights and Concept of Person. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):159-169.
W. J. Talbott (2010). Human Rights and Human Well-Being. Oxford University Press.
Eric D. Smaw (2008). An Analysis of the Philosophy of Universal Human Rights: Hobbes, Locke, and Ignatieff. International Philosophical Quarterly 48 (1):39-58.
John Mahoney (2007). The Challenge of Human Rights: Origin, Development, and Significance. Blackwell Pub..
Joseph Wronka (1994). Human Rights and Social Policy in the United States: An Educational Agenda for the 21st Century. Journal of Moral Education 23 (3):261-272.
Peg Birmingham (2011). Agamben on Violence, Language, and Human Rights. In Nathan Eckstrand & Christopher S. Yates (eds.), Philosophy and the Return of Violence: Studies From This Widening Gyre. Continuum International Publishing Group.
Cheryl Hughes (1999). Reconstructing the Subject of Human Rights. Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (2):47-60.
Added to index2011-12-01
Total downloads21 ( #96,098 of 1,692,597 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #108,676 of 1,692,597 )
How can I increase my downloads?