The Open: Man and Animal

The Open: Man and Animal

Giorgio Agamben

Language: English

Pages: 120

ISBN: 0804747385

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The end of human history is an event that has been foreseen or announced by both messianics and dialecticians. But who is the protagonist of that history that is coming—or has come—to a close? What is man? How did he come on the scene? And how has he maintained his privileged place as the master of, or first among, the animals?

In The Open, contemporary Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben considers the ways in which the "human" has been thought of as either a distinct and superior type of animal, or a kind of being that is essentially different from animal altogether. In an argument that ranges from ancient Greek, Christian, and Jewish texts to twentieth-century thinkers such as Heidegger, Benjamin, and Kojève, Agamben examines the ways in which the distinction between man and animal has been manufactured by the logical presuppositions of Western thought, and he investigates the profound implications that the man/animal distinction has had for disciplines as seemingly disparate as philosophy, law, anthropology, medicine, and politics.

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becoming Da-sein of living man. But this passage, this becoming-Dasein of living man (or, as Heidegger also writes in the course, this taking on of the burden which, for man, is Dasein), does not open onto a further, wider, and brighter space, achieved beyond the limits of the animal environment, and unrelated to it; on the contrary, it is opened only by means of a suspension and a deactivation of the animal relation with the disinhibitor. In this suspension, in this remaining-inactive

Heidegger a political paradigm (indeed the political paradigm par excellence) is at stake in the dialectic between concealedness and unconcealedness. In the course on Parmenides, the polis is defined precisely by the conflict between Verborgenheit and Unverborgenheit. The polis is the place, gathered into itself, of the unconcealedness of beings. If now, however, as the word indicates, ale¯theia possesses a conflictual essence, and if this conflictuality appears also in the relation of opposition

Genet, Fragments of the Artwork Shoshana Felman, The Scandal of the Speaking Body: Don Juan with J. L. Austin, or Seduction in Two Languages Peter Szondi, Celan Studies Neil Hertz, George Eliot’s Pulse Maurice Blanchot, The Book to Come Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb, Regions of Sorrow: Anxiety and Messianism in Hannah Arendt and W. H. Auden Jacques Derrida, Without Alibi, edited by Peggy Kamuf Cornelius Castoriadis, On Plato’s ‘Statesman’ Jacques Derrida, Who's Afraid of Philosophy? Right to

System Emmanual Levinas, God, Death, and Time Ernst Bloch, The Spirit of Utopia Giorgio Agamben, Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy Ellen S. Burt, Poetry’s Appeal: French Nineteenth-Century Lyric and the Political Space Jacques Derrida, Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas Werner Hamacher, Premises: Essays on Philosophy and Literature from Kant to Celan Aris Fioretos, The Gray Book Deborah Esch, In the Event: Reading Journalism, Reading Theory Winfried Menninghaus, In Praise of Nonsense: Kant

population’s life as one of its essential tasks, thus transforming its politics into biopolitics, it was primarily by means of a progressive generalization and redefinition of the concept of vegetative life (now coinciding with the biological heritage of the nation) that the State would carry out its new vocation. And still today, in discussions about the definition ex lege of the criteria for clinical death, it is a further identification of this bare life—detached from any brain activity and,

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