Hobbes Studies 28 (1):50-63 (2015)

Abstract
_ Source: _Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 50 - 63 The article addresses the attempts of contemporary continental philosophy to develop a politics that would move beyond the Hobbesian logic of the constitution of political community. In their readings of Hobbes, Roberto Esposito and Giorgio Agamben emphasize the nihilistic character of Hobbes’s approach to community. For Esposito, Hobbes’s commonwealth is legitimized by a prior negation of the originary human community in the construction of the state of nature as the state of war. Yet, as Agamben shows, this negative state of nature is never fully transcended by the commonwealth, which persistently reproduces it in the state of exception. These critiques emphasize the complex relation between nature and artifice in Hobbes’s thought, which have profound implications for the attempts to arrive at a ‘post-Hobbesian’ mode of political community. Neither a facile search for a truer, more fundamental state of nature nor an affirmation of artifice and denaturation as constitutive of human community are sufficient to evade the Hobbesian constellation. A genuine move beyond Hobbes would rather consist in thoroughly deactivating the very relation between nature and artifice whereby they become indistinct and no longer negate each other
Keywords life   community   Giorgio Agamben   nihilism   Roberto Esposito
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DOI 10.1163/18750257-02801005
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