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Agamben's Philosophical Lineage$
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Adam Kotsko and Carlo Salzani

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423632

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423632.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault

(p.51) 4 Michel Foucault
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Vanessa Lemm

Edinburgh University Press

Michel Foucault begins to play a major role in Giorgio Agamben’s work starting with his book Homo Sacer. Agamben’s thinking about biopolitics, sovereignty, governmentality and form-of-life is deeply influenced by the work of Foucault, as evidenced by his sustained engagement with Foucault’s texts throughout the entire Homo Sacer series. One commentator notes that the trajectory of Agamben’s work since the mid-1990s ‘makes evident that it is proceeding by an ongoing interpretation of the thought of Michel Foucault’.1 But Agamben’s debt to Foucault does not end here. With The Signature of All Things, Agamben also shows that his research methods arise from reflections on Foucault’s use of archaeology and genealogy in his studies of discourse formation. As Agamben remarked in an interview from 2004, ‘I see my work as closer to no one than to Foucault.’2 It is therefore not surprising that Foucault has been referred to as the ‘single most decisive influence on Agamben’s later works’.


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