What if we've been wrong when reading Agamben? Mathew Abbott argues that Agamben's thought is misunderstood when read in terms of critical theory or traditional political philosophy. He shows instead that it engages in political ontology: studying the political stakes of the question of being.
Abbot demonstrates the crucial influence of Martin Heidegger on Agamben's work, locating it in the post-Heideggerian tradition of the critique of metaphysics. He also positions it in relation to the thought of Benjamin, Nietzsche, Levinas, Nancy, and Wittgenstein. As he clarifies it, Abbott links Agamben's philosophy with Wittgenstein's picture theory and Heidegger's concept of the world-picture, showing the importance of this for understanding and potentially overcoming the forms of alienation characteristic of the society of the spectacle.
About the Author
Mathew Abbott is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Ballarat. He completed his PhD at in philosophy at the University of Sydney. He has taught philosophy, film, aesthetics, and poetry at Sydney, the Australian National University, and the University of Canberra. He researches modern European philosophy, political philosophy, critical theory, and aesthetics.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Preface
Introduction: The Figure of This World
1. The Question of Political Ontology
2. The Poetic Experience of the World
3. The Myth of the Earth
4. The Unbearable
5. The Creature before the Law
6. The Animal for which Animality is an Issue
7. Understanding the Happy
8. The Picture and its Captives
9. The Passing of the Figure of This World