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Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby, Or on Contingency. Report. Post on Aug Views. Category: Documents. Downloads. Download. Third, Agamben’s reading in relation to Aristotle’s logic of potentiality. .. In “ Bartleby, or On Contingency,” which appeared with Deleuze’s text on Bartleby. establishment of the contingency of beings and events. However, the relationship . death, Agamben points to Bartleby as a hopeful figure of.

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Giorgio Agamben – Bartleby, or On Contingency

In this theological world, the category of possibility is destroyed: The banished one, Nancy suggests, is completely outside the jurisdiction of the law, and yet the law continues to be applied in its very contingendy, subjecting him to its absolute power. It is this structure of suspension that Agamben finds in Aristotle: Four chapters on the concept bartlebt sovereignty.

For to do so, he must close agambem own ears to the incessant lamentation that, throughout the infinite chambers of this Baroque inferno of potentiality, arises from everything that could have been but was not, from everything that could have been otherwise but had to be sacrificed for the present world to be as it is.

His potentiality is not unrealized because of a lack of will. In Means without end.

For example, if Being always preserved its potential not to be, then no possibility could ever pass into actuality or remain in actuality. Andrew Benjamin and Peter Osborne. Past Contingent The question of the autonomous existence of potentiality is ultimately that of contingency and human freedom. It is this ban structure, through which law secures its application by way of its suspension, subjecting life to its power not to apply, that Agamben traces to Aristotle.


The question of how something could come from nothing is complicated; upon examination, the Nothing ends up looking like something, though a special kind of something.

Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin.

In his work on De animaAlbert the Great agreed with Averroes who made the potential intellect common to all humans. As the writer who has stopped writing, he is the extreme figure of the Nothing from which everything derives, and vindicates it as pure, absolute potentiality.

A commentary on the letter to the Romans. You are commenting using your WordPress. Agamben offers a set of examples—or exemplars, possibly—of such experiments.

The important point is not the image of the scribe of nature, but that nous contingncy, mind, is compared to an ink pot.

The idea of power. The crisis of tradition in Jewish Messianism. Notify me of new comments via email.

Central to the principle of conditioned necessity is whether that which is happening is capable of not happening or of happening otherwiseand thus it conringency closely linked to the question of the status of adynamia in the passage to actuality. Howard Eiland and Michael W. This indifference is not agaamben equivalence between two principles, but a potentiality contingendy of all reason.

Acknowledgments My thanks go to Daniel McLoughlin, for reading an earlier draft of this paper and providing insightful comments. Traditionally, these problems are tempered by two principles. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. A fourteenth century Oxford professor, Richard Fitzralph, said: In book Lambda of the MetaphysicsAristotle deals with these questions: The aporia here is that the highest thought can neither think nothing or think something, or qgamben potential or become actual.


Hence it does not even want what it desires; there is no reason for it want one thing rather than another. Hence, the mind is not a thing, but a being of pure potential. In the letter to the Galatians, the new creature is what remains after Paul has nullified the divisions of the law: If God is only capable of what he wants, Bartleby is capable only without wanting—he only has an absolute potential.

Bartleby, or On Contingency | Philosophical Notebooks

Alone, and silent, condemned to incarceration and death, Bartleby is an unlikely saviour. The second principle is conditioned necessitywhich limits contingency with respect to actuality.

There was only ever the inexplicable movement of the divine hand. In the same way, it is through a single intuition or a single science that he knows that contraries do not exist together and that, nevertheless, they are known together in the same cognitive act, which is one single act.