Infancy and History: The Destruction of Experience
How and why did experience and knowledge become separated? Is it possible to talk of an infancy of experience, a “dumb” experience? For Walter Benjamin, the “poverty of experience” was a characteristic of modernity, originating in the catastrophe of the First World War. For Giorgio Agamben, the Italian editor of Benjamin’s complete works, the destruction of experience no longer needs catastrophes: daily life in any modern city will suffice.
Agamben’s profound and radical exploration of language, infancy, and everyday life traces concepts of experience through Kant, Hegel, Husserl and Benveniste. In doing so he elaborates a theory of infancy that throws new light on a number of major themes in contemporary thought: the anthropological opposition between nature and culture; the linguistic opposition between speech and language; the birth of the subject and the appearance of the unconscious. Agamben goes on to consider time and history; the Marxist notion of base and superstructure (via a careful reading of the famous Adorno–Benjamin correspondence on Baudelaire’s Paris); and the difference between rituals and games. Beautifully written, erudite and provocative, these essays will be of great interest to students of philosophy, linguistics, anthropology and politics.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
TIME AND HISTORY
THE PRINCE AND THE FROG
Other editions - View all
according already animal appears become beginning Benjamin body called character closed concept consciousness constitutes construction continuous correspondence critique culture dead death defined desire diachrony dialectical difference discourse distinct element essence essential eternity event existence experience expression fact fall figure function gesture give hand human idea immediate individual infancy instant interpretation kind knowledge language linguistic living Marxism materialism matter meaning mediation merely myth nature never object once opposition origin passage past perhaps philology philosophy play pleasure poetry possible precisely present produced pure question reality reason reference relation relationship remains represented rites ritual semantic semiotic sense separate shows signifiers simply single social societies speak speech sphere spirit structure superstructure synchrony temporal theory thing thought tion transcendental transformation transl true truth voice Western whole writes
All Book Search results »
Ancient & Modern: Time, Culture and Indigenous Philosophy
Limited preview - 2004