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.

Author: Kazragrel Yozshuzuru
Country: Republic of Macedonia
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Art
Published (Last): 19 July 2013
Pages: 500
PDF File Size: 15.66 Mb
ePub File Size: 13.69 Mb
ISBN: 441-7-98355-837-3
Downloads: 34998
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Jut

The Bartleby twist on the principle of sufficient reason is: This only pushes the aporia back, however—what does it mean for a potential to think to think itself? Upon finding Bartleby still occupying his office, the narrator—after his return from the dead—descends the staircase and walks around the block, contemplating a series of equally unsatisfactory responses: Given the complexity of his argument, however, I will begin by outlining his attempt to re- think modality, which, like much of his critique of Western politics, proceeds by way of a critical re-reading of Aristotle.

All potential to be or to do something is also the potential to not be or do something, and without this, all potentiality would be indistinguishable from actuality. Maimonides argued for the truth of creation ex nihilo in in Guide for the Perplexed. Bartleby, when he decides to give up copying, moves passed this solution: The Formula, or On Potentiality 1.

The role of the sovereign is thus to ensure the possibility of a passage between the anomic production of a factually normal situation and the law through a decision that temporarily renders them indistinguishable. But likewise, to hold to Being and necessary positivity is also difficult; it always has a complicity with this nihilism.

Giorgio Agamben – Bartleby, or On Contingency | Curatorial / Knowledge

His potentiality is not unrealized because of a lack of will. If potentiality were only ever the potential to do or be something, we would never experience as potentiality—it would only exist in the actuality it is realized in. Bartleby, or, the formula. On the essence and actuality of force. You are commenting using your Twitter account. This is the context that Bartleby exists in. AroundAbraham Abulafia wrote the Cabalistic treaties.

If we are to confront the state of exception that has become the norm and live a life of possibility, it is on these resources that we must draw.


While this task is already a daunting one, Agamben goes beyond Benjamin to argue that escaping the sovereign relation requires nothing less than a confrontation with the way in which metaphysics has constructed the problem of modality.

The experience of potentiality is only possible if it is also the potential not to do, be, or think—if the tablet is capable of not being written on. Contingency is replaced by necessity or impossibility. If God has the potential to be, then he also has the potential to not be, which contradicts his eternity. The political theology of Paul. Remembrance, for Benjamin, challenges the irrevo- cability of the past, making both what happened and what did not possible again.

The secret at the origin of all creatures is the letter of the alphabet and every letter is a sign that bartlebh to creation. The messianic modality, which Agamben finds in Bartleby, is thus one in which potentiality does not precede actuality but follows it, restoring it to contingency and enabling the forgotten to act on the present. Thus, Bartleby, he argues, conducts an experiment in what can either barhleby or not be, an experiment in potentiality itself, which requires the overturning of the principle of the irrevocability of the past.

Emancipating itself from Being and non-Being alike, potentiality thus creates its own ontology. 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 falasifain contrast, remained true to Aristotle: For he who possesses science [in potentiality] becomes someone who contemplates in actuality, and either this is not an alteration—since here there is a gift of the self to itself and to actuality [epidosis eis eauto]—or this is an alteration of a different kind.

In The messianic idea in Judaism and other essays on Jewish spirituality. In the same act of will, God wills contraries; he does not will that they exist together cntingency this is impossiblebut he nevertheless wills them at the same time.

Secondly, the re-potentialisation of the past, by granting possibility to what is or has been, disrupts the tradition, and its codification in law, that is premised on the erasure xontingency forgetting of manifold un-actualised possibilities.


Whyte nullification of the potential not to, but rather its complete realisation in the act. In Basic writings, ed.

Log In Sign Up. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. In The Birth to Presence trans. Is it possible, in short, to attempt to say what seems impossible to say, that is: Or in other words, how can a blank writing tablet impress upon itself? This God enjoys contemplating these events and his own choice among them: We need to see which laws govern the transition from the possible to the real, or what causes potentiality to exist.

Will is what brings order to chaotic potential: To escape agamhen dialectic, Agamben suggests, we need to reformulate completely the problem of constituent power and sever the nexus between means and ends.

Aristotle said the intellect was intelligible, but it cannot be intelligible in the way that other objects are because it is not a thing: If thought already had a form, like a tablet has a form, then it would appear in the intelligible object and thinking could not take place. It baartleby its own potentiality. 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.

Post navigation

After all, while Bartleby drives his employer to quit his premises and relocate his law firm, his peace is short lived. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Hardt, Michael, and Antonio.

In The Time That Remains, he discusses the importance, for Paul, of figural relations between moments of the past and messianic time such as that between Adam and Jesusin which past events come to prefigure or foreshadow those of the present Agambenp. This makes it necessary to uphold the principle of conditioned necessity, and why Aristotle has to define the possible potential this way: Remembrance is about potentiality.

Alone, and silent, condemned to incarceration and death, Bartleby is an unlikely saviour. Epistle to the Romans.