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This book collects fifteen major philosophical essays spanning more than twenty years by acclaimed Italian philosopher and author of State of Exception.

Giorgio Agamben is one of contemporary philosophy's most influential thinkers on the subjects of language, power, society. This collection of essays opens with an enlightening introduction by the translator Daniel Heller-Roazen, who 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: the existence of language; the nature of history; and the problem of potentiality in 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 a new light.

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  • We started tracking this book on September 18, 2017.
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  • File Size: 1,422 KB

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