Adam Kotsko, Agamben’s Philosophical Trajectory – Edinburgh University Press, September 2020

giorgio_agambenAdam Kotsko, Agamben’s Philosophical Trajectory – Edinburgh University Press, September 2020

Good to see this book nearly out – a major study by the key translator of Agamben into English. Adam has a great story about the project – Academic Publishing: An Odyssey – which I won’t spoil by part-quoting, but which is well worth a read.

  • Focuses on Agamben’s intellectual development
  • Offers the first study of the complete Homo Sacer series
  • Takes into account Agamben’s recently-published memoir
  • Addresses the full range of Agamben’s thought on linguistics, poetics, politics and theology

Giorgio Agamben has emerged as one of the most perceptive and even prophetic political thinkers of his era. Now that he has completed his multi-volume Homo Sacer series – his career-defining work – Adam Kotsko, one of his leading translators, shows how Agamben’s political concerns emerged and evolved as he responded to contemporary events and new intellectual influences while striving to remain true to his deepest intuitions. Kotsko reveals the trajectory of Agamben’s work and shows us what it means to practice philosophy as a living, responsive discipline.

Adam Kotsko’s brilliant study provides a chronological and systematic reading of Giorgio Agamben’s writings that allows us to see the evolution of Agamben’s thought over the years, as it responds to the varied historical contexts and philosophical problems uniquely characteristic of his oeuvre. As Kotsko is particularly attuned to the turn from the poetic to the political, he demonstrates subtle nuances often otherwise missed within Agamben’s work, making Agamben’s Philosophical Trajectory a fascinating portrait of the many twists and turns, continuities and discontinuities alike, within his philosophy. This book will most certainly serve as a definitive account of Agamben’s development for years to come.

Colby Dickinson, Associate Professor of Theology, Loyola University Chicago


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