By Sergei Prozorv
Tracing how the common sense of inoperativity works within the domain names of language, legislation, heritage and humanity, Agamben and Politics systematically introduces the basic ideas of Agamben's political idea and a seriously translates his insights within the wider context of up to date philosophy.
Agamben's commentators and critics are inclined to specialize in his robust critique of the Western political culture within the Homo Sacer sequence. yet this slim concentration serves to imprecise the general constitution of Agamben's political idea, that is neither damaging nor serious yet affirmative. Sergei Prozorov brings out the affirmative temper of Agamben's political notion, targeting the concept that of inoperativity, which has been relevant to Agamben's paintings from his earliest writings.
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Additional resources for Agamben and Politics: A Critical Introduction (Thinking Politics)
77). Whereas secularisation relocates the sacred object from one domain to another while retaining the principle of its separation from free use, profanation dislocates the line that separates the object from the possibility of free use. ). In other words, secularisation maintains the logic of glory that contains the inoperativity of beings in a separate sphere but transfers this sphere from the divine to the earthly. It is therefore anti-religious in its content but not in its form, while profanation targets precisely the separating form of religion without necessarily being hostile to its content: Religio is not what unites men and gods but what ensures they remain distinct.
90). It is precisely this profane mediality that is recuperated by the apparatus of pornography in a representation that may be consumed in masturbatory activity but never brought to use as such (see Prozorov 2011): What it captures is the human capacity to let erotic behaviours idle, to profane them, by detaching them from their immediate ends. But while these behaviours thus open themselves to a different possible use, which concerns not so much the pleasure of the partner as a new collective use of sexuality, pornography intervenes at this point to block and divert the profanatory intention.
Paradigms thus obey a complex logic: insofar as they illuminate something beyond themselves, their normal denotative use must be suspended in order to enable the constitution of a new ensemble. : 21). For instance, the word ‘paradigm’ may itself be used paradigmatically as an example of an English noun, for which its own specific denotation must be suspended. : 24). This is precisely the function of the numerous paradigmatic figures that we encounter in Agamben’s works – homo sacer, the Muselmann, the porn star, Bartleby, angels – are all used in the paradigmatic manner, making intelligible the wider ensemble from which they stand out due to the suspension of their own denotation.