Giorgio Agamben's inclusive exclusion of Étienne De la Boétie

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the significance of Étienne de La Boétie’s appearance and subsequent disappearance in the introduction to Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. The introduction to the first installment of the Homo Sacer-series is a significant document, which establishes the philosophical parameters of the entire project: the concepts and thinkers that his analysis revolves around are all presented in these few pages. Yet there is one strange anomaly: while all of the thinkers who figure in these pages (Plato, Aristotle, Michel Foucault, Hannah Arendt, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, etc.) are subsequently addressed at length, Boétie is completely abandoned. It is the argument of this paper, that this is a significant conceptual move, constituting an inclusive exclusion of Boétie and his reflections on the subjective foundations of power, which reveals the underlying structure of Agamben’s political thought to be that of the sovereign exception.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftTelos
Vol/bind181
Sider (fra-til)106-112
Antal sider7
ISSN0090-6514
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 13 dec. 2017

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