David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):161-179 (2008)
This essay is an exploration of the relationship between Agamben’s 1995 text, Homo Sacer, and Derrida’s 1992 “Force of Law” essay. Agamben attempts to show that the camp, as the topological space of the state of exception, has become the biopolitical paradigm for modernity. He draws this conclusion on the basis of a distinction, which he finds in an essay by Walter Benjamin, between categories of life, with the “pro-tagonist” of the work being what he calls homo sacer, orbare life—life that is stripped of its humanity and value. Five years earlier, in 1990, Derrida had given a lecture at UCLA (later published in its entirety as “The Force of Law”) in which he had analyzed the very same essay by Benjamin and had highlighted the distinction between “base life” and “just life.” The implications of his analysis show a discomforting prox-imity between Benjaminian messianism and the Nazi “final solution,” a conclusion that Agamben dismisses entirely. Inthis paper, however, I demonstrate that the structures of the two works are quite similar in many important ways. I argue that, though the broad scope of Agamben’s work is original in many respects, and I would not wish to reduce Agamben’s work to Derridean repetitions, he nevertheless utilizes much more of Derrida’s analysis, specifically with respect to the categori-zation of life, than he would like the reader to believe.
|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
Paul M. Livingston (2009). Agamben, Badiou, and Russell. Continental Philosophy Review 42 (3):297-325.
Paul Livingston (2009). Agamben, Badiou, and Russell. Continental Philosophy Review 42 (3):297-325.
Matthew Calarco & Steven DeCaroli (eds.) (2007). Giorgio Agamben: Sovereignty and Life. Stanford University Press.
Paul A. Passavant (2007). The Contradictory State of Giorgio Agamben. Political Theory 35 (2):147-174.
Peter Gratton (2011). What More Is There to Say? Revisiting Agamben's Depiction of Homo Sacer. The European Legacy 16 (5):599 - 613.
Samir Haddad (2011). Citizenship and the Ambivalence of Birth. Derrida Today 4 (2):173-193.
María Del Rosario Acosta López (2011). A “Tiny Displacement” of the World. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1):93-112.
Walter Brogan (2011). On Giorgio Agamben's Naked Life. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (1):113-124.
Adam Thurschwell (2005). Cutting the Branches for Akiba: Agamben's Critique of Derrida. In Andrew Norris (ed.), Politics, Metaphysics, and Death: Essays on Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer. Duke University Press
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #118,707 of 1,789,836 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #196,841 of 1,789,836 )
How can I increase my downloads?