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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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Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza

(p.201) 21 Baruch Spinoza
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Jeffrey A. Bernstein

Edinburgh University Press

There is currently a paucity of literature relating to Agamben’s philosophical treatment of Spinoza (Julie Klein, Dimitris Vardoulakis and Miguel Vatter being notable exceptions).1 There has certainly been no attempt to show how Agamben’s manifold references to the seventeenth-century Dutch-Jewish philosopher form a constellation in his thought. In this chapter, I will attempt to bring those references together under the categorial headings of (1) ‘Living in the Middle Voice’ and (2) ‘The Contemplative Life as Inoperativity’. I choose these categories because Agamben’s key concern (as I read him) involves radically rethinking the figures of ‘life’ and ‘living’ as well as providing a new apologia for contemplation. First, however, a few methodological remarks.

Keywords:   Baruch Spinoza, Middle voice, ontology of potentiality

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