, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 579-588
Date: 08 Oct 2010

Giorgio Agamben: The signature of all things: on method, Luca D’Isanto with Kevin Attell (tr.)

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Not unlike Foucault’s reflection on his own method in 1969’s The Archaeology of Knowledge, Agamben’s reflection is written almost like a confession. And, like all good confessions, each of the three essays in this work exhibits Agamben’s own practices all while constructing them. Exemplifying this notion of a “constructive-discovery,” the last essay in this collection (“Philosophical Archaeology”) clarifies, to a greater degree than ever, how Agamben understands research practice and how he believes the researcher is, can, and perhaps even ought to be oriented. Further, the first and second essays serve to retroactively reveal an orientation in Agamben’s entire corpus which, if read attentively, allow us to situate his archival research within and to differentiate it from contemporary trends in critical theory such as anti-humanism, deconstruction, and ecology. In the end, this book will serve to correct the popular reading of Agamben as a specialist of the “state of exception” and sol ...