The Reading Department

Yesterday I took part in the first discussion of the Reading Department: Using Skype for a collective chat — reading through Agamben’s text We Refugees. I had to log off at 21.30, at a moment when some interesting issues where coming up — a beginning of a critique of Agamben.

Well, that is what I am interested in, a critique of Agamben. (His texts are beautiful anyway). In order to to entangle both the fascination and the sense of unease with Agambens way of reasoning and doing philosophy. Or trying to do that. Something — I ‘feel’ — is not ‘right’ with Agamben, yet his analysis seems to be very precise and thorough, and to the point.

Taking up Dewey: maybe the problem lies in that Agamben, does use examples from experience, uses practical, political situations, but in the end relegates everything to the realm of ideas and ideals — and leaves it there. A realm of “Anschauung”… the spectator view of knowledge…

But I have to add a big question mark here.

— Then I stumble on this, in the statement of the Reading Department: “Can theory compete with an ongoing war? And what kind of implications bears the “distance of theory”?”

Is that the problem? Theory is not distant, should not be distant. Theory comes from and applies to the world of experience. Of course there are different layers of involvement, entanglement — but the realm of ideas and concepts is not seperate from dirty life. Distance is not the same as separation, but at some point distance becomes separation in practice.

Anyway. Maybe my conclusions are too eeeazy.

en,reading matter,research,ubiscribe | August 29, 2006 | 13:55 | Comments Off on The Reading Department |


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