Since the publication of Homo Sacer in 1995, Giorgio Agamben has become one of the world's most revered and controversial thinkers. His ideas on our current political situation have found supporters and enemies in almost equal measure. His wider thoughts on topics such as language, potentiality, life, law, messianism and aesthetics have had significant impact on such diverse fields as philosophy, law, theology, history, sociology, cultural studies and literary studies. Yet although Agamben is much read, his work has also often been misunderstood. This book is the first to fully take into account Agamben's important recent publications, which clarify his method, complete his ideas on power, and finally reveal the role of language in his overall system. William Watkin presents a critical overview of Agamben's work that, through the lens of indifference, aims to give a portrait of exactly why this thinker of indifferent and suspensive legal, political, ontological and living states can rightfully be considered one of the most important philosophers in the world today.
William Watkin is professor of contemporary literature and philosophy at Brunel University, UK. He is the author of In the Process of Poetry: The New York School and the Avant-Garde (Bucknell UP, 2001), On Mourning: Theories of Loss in Modern Literature (Edinburgh UP, 2004) and The Literary Agamben (Continuum, 2010).
Introduction / Part One: The Archaeology of Indifference / 1. The Signature of All Things: Paradigms and Signatures / 2. Philosophical Archaeology / 3. The Language of Death: Indifferent Difference as Such in Hegel and Heidegger / 4. The Coming Community: An Essay on Indifferent Singularities / 5. Towards a Deictic Ontology or Being-thus As-such / Part Two: Difference and Indifference / 6. Derrida and Agamben: Differance Makes Indifference Communicable / 7. Potentiality, Virtuality and Impotentiality: Agamben and Deleuze / 8. The Two Bartlebies: Deleuze, Agamben and Immanence / Part Three: The Indifference of Indifference: Politics, Language, Life / 9. Homo Sacer and the Politics of Indifference / 10. The Kingdom and the Glory: The Articulated Inoperativity of Power / 11. The Sacrament of Language: Language as Communicability / Conclusion: The End of Lying and the Birth of Living / Threshold of Suspension / Bibliography / Index