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Title: Not Not. A Note on the Figures of Power in Giorgio Agamben
Authors: Clemens, Justin
Keywords: Giorgio AgambenFredric JamesonFigureInoperativityTestimony
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Justin Clemens, "Not Not. A Note on the Figures of Power in Giorgio Agamben" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2020) XXII/3", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 195-209
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
When one starts to read the work of Giorgio Agamben, one cannot not be struck by his erudition, his eye for previously overlooked or under-interpreted details in the philosophical, political, artistic and legal archives, not to mention his commitment to rethinking those received traditions according to new means. Yet what is also very striking is Agamben’s unceasing attention to the apparition and construction of what I will term figures of power. At the beginning of Means Without End, Agamben asks himself “Is today a life of power available?”. If Agamben’s word here is ‘life’, it is just as critical to understand that such a term is not to be taken in its biological acceptation; on the contrary, what he means by ‘life’ must be something other than a scientific category. I will make a number of suggestions as to why the word ‘figure’ has some pertinence in this context, and why it leads, on the one hand, to a new analysis of operations of negation, and, on the other, to a paradoxical kind of non- or extra-ontological act of impotentiality.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/31264
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2020) XXII/3

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