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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.186) 19 Plotinus
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Mårten Björk

Edinburgh University Press

The philosophy of Plotinus plays a contradictory role in Giorgio Agamben’s corpus. He comments on Plotinus in a lapidary fashion in several articles and essays before commencing the Homo Sacer series, where he undertakes a longer and more ambiguous analysis of Plotinus in Opus Dei and The Use of Bodies. In Opus Dei, Agamben develops the brief criticism of Plotinus he proposed in The Kingdom and theGlory in order to describe the crucial instance when Western metaphysics starts to designate being as operativity: ‘The place and moment when classical ontology begins that process of transformation that will lead to the Christian and modern ontology is the theory of the hypostases in Plotinus’ (OD 58). Agamben is referring to the development in the Enneads of the idea of the three hypostases of being – the One, the Soul and the Intellect – from which the whole complex of reality emanates.

Keywords:   Plotinus, Hypostasis, Aristotelian ontology

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