The Use of Bodies

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Giorgio Agamben
Translator(s): 
Adam Kotsko
Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics
  • Palo Alto, CA: 
    Stanford University Press
    , March
     2016.
     320 pages.
     $25.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780804798402.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer was one of the seminal works of political philosophy in recent decades. It was also the beginning of a series of interconnected investigations of staggering ambition and scope, investigating the deepest foundations of Western politics and thought.

The Use of Bodies represents the ninth and final volume in this twenty-year undertaking, breaking considerable new ground while clarifying the stakes and implications of the project as a whole. It comprises three major sections. The first uses Aristotle's discussion of slavery as a starting point for radically rethinking notions of selfhood; the second calls for a complete reworking of Western ontology; and the third explores the enigmatic concept of "form-of-life," which is in many ways the motivating force behind the entire Homo Sacer project. Interwoven between these major sections are shorter reflections on individual thinkers (Debord, Foucault, and Heidegger), while the epilogue pushes toward a new approach to political life that breaks with the destructive deadlocks of Western thought. The Use of Bodies represents a true masterwork by one of our greatest living philosophers.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Giorgio Agamben is a contemporary Italian philosopher and political theorist whose works have been translated into numerous languages. His most recent title with Stanford University Press is Stasis (2015).

Adam Kotsko joined the Shimer College faculty in 2011 after completing his PhD at Chicago Theological Seminary in 2009 and teaching for two years at Kalamazoo College. He teaches a range of courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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