Propositions for inoperative life

Giovanni Marmont, German Eduardo Primera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The concept of inoperativity, making its first appearance in the work of Alexandre Kojève, gets fully thematised across the writings of Maurice Blanchot and Jan-Luc Nancy before being taken up and further developed by Giorgio Agamben. Although already present in the very first volume of his Homo Sacer series, Agamben’s formulation of inoperosità has gained increasing centrality within the rich and intricate theoretical universe constructed by the Italian philosopher over the years. However, this concept has frequently been misinterpreted or dismissed as indicating mere inactivity: a passive and complete absence of all work. This simplistic interpretation falls short of grasping what truly is at stake in the complex notion of inoperativity: namely, a much more radical and sophisticated suspension of potentiality, which Agamben seeks to rescue from the mechanisms of actualisation that have plagued much of Western thought. With this edited volume, to our knowledge the first entirely dedicated to the study of inoperativity, our primary concern is not so much that of correcting superficial appreciations of this concept for the sake of accuracy. Rather, we are here introducing a number of perspectives on, and putting forth a set of deliberately unresolved propositions for, inoperativity that may open this notion to new uses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-21
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Italian Philosophy
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • inoperativity
  • potentiality
  • Agamben
  • productivity
  • realisation
  • opening

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