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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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Simone Weil

Simone Weil

(p.292) 30 Simone Weil
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Beatrice Marovich

Edinburgh University Press

Few of Giorgio Agamben’s works are as mysterious as his unpublished dissertation, reportedly on the political thought of the French philosopher Simone Weil. If Weil was an early subject of Agamben’s intellectual curiosity, it would appear – judging from his published works – that her influence upon him has been neither central nor lasting.1 Leland de la Durantaye argues that Weil’s work has left a mark on Agamben’s philosophy of potentiality, largely in his discussion of the concept of decreation; but de la Durantaye does not make much of Weil’s influence here, determining that her theory of decreation is ‘essentially dialectical’ and still too bound up with creation theology. 2 Alessia Ricciardi, however, argues that de la Durantaye’s dismissal of Weil’s influence is hasty.3 Ricciardi analyses deeper resonances between Weil’s and Agamben’s philosophies, ultimately claiming that Agamben ‘seems to extend many of the implications and claims of Weil’s idea of force’,4 arguably spreading Weil’s influence into Agamben’s reflections on sovereign power and bare life.

Keywords:   Simone Weil, Decreation, philosophy of potentiality

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