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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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This affirmation of contingency, however, has always been a conditional one. That line is a modification of Romans 7: Avicenna uses the image of writing to describe the various levels of the potential intellect.

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 does not copy the law, but neither does he oppose it in the name of another law, a natural law, or a more just law that could be instituted in its place.

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.

In Selected writings, vol. The green screen that isolates his desk traces the borders of an experimental library in which potentiality, three decades before Nietzsche and in a sense that is altogether different from his, frees itself of the principle of reason.


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 and forgetting of manifold un-actualised possibilities. The ink is thought itself. In the same way, it is through a single intuition or a single science that he knows that contraries do not exist together and that, nevertheless, they are known together in the same cognitive act, which is one single act.

Giorgio Agamben – Bartleby, or On Contingency

There is a potential the possible, in his words that belongs to the child who has the basics of writing. After all, while Bartleby drives his employer to quit his premises and relocate his law firm, his peace is short lived.

The principle of the irrevocability of the past ensures bratleby the past is fixed and closed, and that what is done cannot be undone. There are two possibilities.

Giorgio Agamben, Bartleby, Or on Contingency

Traditionally, these problems are tempered by two principles. In The messianic idea in Judaism and other essays on Jewish spirituality.

To hold to non-Being is difficult and is the characteristic experience of nihilism. He is neither an exemplar of civil disobedience, nor a revolutionary. The crisis of tradition in Jewish Contingncy.

Medieval theologians make a distinction between an absolute potentiality by which God could do anything, including evil, and an ordered potential, by which God can only do that which is in accord with his will.

It is the oldness of the letter to which Paul opposes the newness of Spirit: The question is, though, why would this hopelessness express itself in this way and not another. For to do so, he must close his own ears to the incessant lamentation that, throughout the infinite chambers of this Baroque inferno of potentiality, arises from everything that could have been but was not, from everything that could have been otherwise but had to be sacrificed for the present world to be as it is.


Abulafia knew Aristotle through Arabic translations and commentaries, which paid close attention to the problem of the relation between the passive and active intellect.

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

But how are we to understand such fulfilment? The important point is not the image of the scribe of nature, but that nousmind, is compared abrtleby an ink pot. Whyte sides of the sovereign ban. Email required Address never made public. Help Center Find new research papers in: Letters represent the material vehicle through which the word of God incarnates itself in created things.

Agamben5. And if it thinks something, then that something is superior, because the thing would determine it.

Is it possible, in short, to attempt to say what seems impossible to say, that is: Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin.