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Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The work of Giorgio Agamben, one of Italys most important and original philosophers, has been based on an uncommon erudition in classical traditions of philosophy and rhetoric, the grammarians of late antiquity, Christian theology, and modern philosophy. Recently, Agamben has begun to direct his thinking to the constitution of the social and to some concrete, ethico-political conclusions concerning the state of society today, and the place of the individual within it.

In Homo Sacer, Agamben aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding. Taking his cue from Foucaults fragmentary analysis of biopolitics, Agamben probes with great breadth, intensity, and acuteness the covert or implicit presence of an idea of biopolitics in the history of traditional political theory. He argues that from the earliest treatises of political theory, notably in Aristotles notion of man as a political animal, and throughout the history of Western thinking about sovereignty (whether of the king or the state), a notion of sovereignty as power over “life” is implicit.

The reason it remains merely implicit has to do, according to Agamben, with the way the sacred, or the idea of sacrality, becomes indissociable from the idea of sovereignty. Drawing upon Carl Schmitts idea of the sovereigns status as the exception to the rules he safeguards, and on anthropological research that reveals the close interlinking of the sacred and the taboo, Agamben defines the sacred person as one who can be killed and yet not sacrificed—a paradox he sees as operative in the status of the modern individual living in a system that exerts control over the collective “naked life” of all individuals.

Synopsis:

One of Italy's most original philosophers aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding.

Synopsis:

One of Italy's most original philosophers aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding.

Synopsis:

“Agambens intuition, chronicle and meditation are fascinating.”—The Review of Politics

“The story of homo sacer is certainly worth reading because of its suggestiveness and provocations.”—Modernism/Modernity

About the Author

Giorgio Agamben teaches philosophy at the University of Venice.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Logic of Sovereignty: 1. The paradox of sovereignty; 2. 'Nomos Basileus'; 3. Potentiality and law; 4. Form of law; Threshold; Part II. Homo Sacer: 1. Homo sacer; 2. The ambivalence of the sacred; 3. Sacred life; 4. 'Vitae Necisque Potestas'; 5. Sovereign body and sacred body; 6. The ban and the wolf; Threshold; Part III. The Camp as Biopolitical Paradigm of the Modern: 1. The politicization of life; 2. Biopolitics and the rights of man; 3. Life that does not deserve to live; 4. 'Politics, or giving form to the life of a people'; 5. VP; 6. Politicizing death; 7. The camp as the 'Nomos' of the modern; Threshold; Bibliography; Index of names.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780804732185
Translator:
Heller-Roazen, Daniel
Author:
Heller-Roazen, Daniel
Author:
Hamacher, Werner
Author:
Wellbery, David E.
Author:
Agamben, Giorgio
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Location:
Stanford, Calif. :
Subject:
Political
Subject:
State, the
Subject:
Sovereignty
Subject:
Human Rights
Subject:
Concentration camps
Subject:
Religion and politics
Subject:
Right to life.
Subject:
General Philosophy
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics (Paperback)
Series Volume:
no. 97-10
Publication Date:
19980431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
228
Dimensions:
8.54x5.56x.52 in. .57 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Politics
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) New Trade Paper
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$22.75 In Stock
Product details 228 pages Stanford University Press - English 9780804732185 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
One of Italy's most original philosophers aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding.
"Synopsis" by , One of Italy's most original philosophers aims to connect the problem of pure possibility, potentiality, and power with the problem of political and social ethics in a context where the latter has lost its previous religious, metaphysical, and cultural grounding.
"Synopsis" by ,
“Agambens intuition, chronicle and meditation are fascinating.”—The Review of Politics

“The story of homo sacer is certainly worth reading because of its suggestiveness and provocations.”—Modernism/Modernity

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