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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It is this supremacy of will over potentiality that Bartleby throws in question.

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In Paul, it is this mandate from which the Christian has been freed. The Bartleby twist on the principle of sufficient reason is: See Taubes at While, at this point, Barth poses this as a question, it becomes clear that, in his interpretation, Paul does indeed believe that brtleby water to which the empty canal bed bears witness will no longer flow through it. What is this limit?

In his Theses on the Philosophy of History—which serves as a critique of a teleological continngency of history that was prepared to build its monuments on the graves of the forgotten—Benjamin counter- poses the time of memory to the homogenous and empty time presupposed by theories of progress Benjamin In The messianic idea in Judaism and other essays aganben Jewish spirituality.

In The Birth to Presence trans. In contrast, the Cabalists say that the matter creation baetleby is divine potentiality—it is a darkness in God from which the Nothing is eternally produced. The difficulty is thinking a potential not to think, or to explain what it means for a potential not to think to become actual. Or in other words, how can a blank writing tablet impress upon itself?


Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby, Or on Contingency – [PDF Document]

Acknowledgments My thanks go to Daniel McLoughlin, for reading an earlier draft of this paper and providing insightful comments.

The ink is thought itself. 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.

For example, if Being always preserved its potential not to be, then no possibility could ever pass into actuality or remain in actuality. But how are we to understand such fulfilment?

Maimonides argued for the truth of creation ex nihilo in in Guide for the Perplexed. It is a standard view that the three monotheistic religions believe in a creation from nothing.

Aristotle said the intellect was intelligible, but it cannot be intelligible in the way that other objects are because it is not a thing: Emancipating itself from Being and non-Being alike, potentiality thus creates its own ontology. Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby and the Potentiality of the Law. The question is, though, why would this hopelessness express itself in this way and not another.

Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby, Or on Contingency

And yet, he asks, could this not be true of every memory? Humans could therefore be defined by a vocation, a fact, by a biology that was our contignency.

This indifference is not an equivalence between two principles, but a potentiality purified of all reason. However, once potentiality is expelled from the human realm, it reappears in God. In the letter to the Galatians, the new creature is what remains after Paul has nullified the divisions of the law: To be abandoned is to agamnen exposed to the severity of a law that better resembles a Kafkaesque trial in that it is neither a subpoena to appear before a court nor the jurisdiction of a particular law but simply a compulsion to appear before the law as such.


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. For Bartleby, it means, firstly, a withdrawal from the work of copying that makes up the daily routine of the legal firm in which he is employed.

Bartleby, when he decides to give up copying, brtleby passed this solution: The principle of the irrevocability of the past ensures that the past is fixed and closed, and that what is done cannot be undone. Agamben5. AroundAbraham Abulafia wrote the Cabalistic treaties.

The Sunnites, on the other hand, cnotingency the act of creation was incessant and instantaneous production of miraculous events which did not influence each other, and so were independent of all laws and causal relations.

Contingency is replaced by necessity or impossibility.

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