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Agamben and Radical Politics$
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Daniel McLoughlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402637

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402637.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 January 2022

What Is a Form-of-Life?: Giorgio Agamben and the Practice of Poverty

What Is a Form-of-Life?: Giorgio Agamben and the Practice of Poverty

(p.207) 10 What Is a Form-of-Life?: Giorgio Agamben and the Practice of Poverty
Agamben and Radical Politics

Steven DeCaroli

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter, and the one following, focus on Agamben’s recent work on form-of-life and the Franciscan practice of poverty. DeCaroli argues that form-of-life should be understood as a particular form of life that is aware of the contingency of the rules that govern our existence, and does not attempt to replace them, but to patiently expose the machinery of their operation. Franciscanism was an incomplete attempt to develop such a form-of-life through a community of non-appropriative use that claimed no social or juridical foundation. The name for this way of living was poverty – which does not mean poverty in material things (although the Friars did live modestly) – but rather poverty in those less tangible things, such as possession and privilege, that profoundly shape our social reality, but whose operation we are often only faintly aware of.

Keywords:   Agamben, monasticism, form-of-life, use, poverty

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