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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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Conclusion: Agamben as a Reader of Agamben

Conclusion: Agamben as a Reader of Agamben

(p.303) Conclusion: Agamben as a Reader of Agamben
Agamben's Philosophical Lineage

Adam Kotsko

Edinburgh University Press

Thus far, the contributors to this volume have considered the many and varied bodies of work that have left their mark on Agamben’s project. In this concluding chapter, I would like to take up one final body of work that Agamben must somehow account for, if only implicitly – namely, his own. The task is more difficult than it may sound, because Agamben is not nearly as self-referential as some major twentieth-century thinkers. Unless his habits change drastically, he will not leave behind a voluminous legacy of interviews on the stakes and intentions of his work, as Foucault did. His explicit cross-references between his own works are few and far between. Heidegger spent his entire career attempting to unpack the significance and shortcomings of Being and Time, while the later Derrida provided exhaustive footnotes demonstrating that the themes of his so-called ‘ethical turn’ were always already present in his earliest work. By contrast, Agamben rarely reflects directly on the relationship between any given text and the texts that preceded it. And within individual texts, the reader rarely finds the kinds of ‘signposts’ that explain why each book is structured in the way that it is.

Keywords:   Agamben, Methodology, Continuity, Achievement

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