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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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(p.178) 18 Plato
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Mika Ojakangas

Edinburgh University Press

There are not many books by Agamben in which Plato does not figure. In The Man Without Content (MC 52–64), Agamben discusses the Platonic discrepancy between politics and poetry; in Stanzas, he examines Plato’s conceptions of love (S 115–21) and phantasm (S 73–5); in Infancy and History (IH 73), Agamben takes up Plato’s concept of time (aion and chronos), while in The End of the Poem (EP 17) he examines Plato’s criticism of tragedy. In Language and Death (LD 91–2), he gives an account of Socrates’ ‘demon’ and Plato’s Idea (eidos) – though he investigates the latter more thoroughly in Potentialities (PO 27–38), in which he also briefly touches upon Plato’s doctrine of matter (khôra) (PO 218). In Idea of Prose (IP 120–3) and The ComingCommunity (CC 76–7), it is the Platonic Idea again that is under scrutiny, albeit more implicitly than in Potentialities. In Homo Sacer (HS 33–5), Agamben offers an interpretation of Plato’s treatment of Pindar’s nomos basileus fragment and the sophistic opposition between nomos and physis, whereas in The Sacrament of Language (SL 29) he touches on Plato’s critique of oath. In The Signature of All Things (ST 22–6), Agamben gives an account of Plato’s ‘paradigmatic’ method, while in Stasis (STA 5–12) we find an analysis of Plato’s conception of civil war (stasis).

Keywords:   Plato, Politics, Poetry, ‘paradigmatic’ method

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