Abstract

Agamben’s self-professed epigonism underwrites his entire project, serving as an even more fundamental methodological concept than the signature, paradigm, and archeology. In Infancy and History, Agamben maintains that transcendental experience is no longer a viable source of philosophical insight; philosophers go astray referring their thinking back to an authentic yet esoteric experience that, itself unspeakable, grounds positive philosophical assertions. Neither mysterious nor ineffable, the experience founding philosophy is the completely patent, non-latent, experience of language’s pure exteriority. Rather than “deconstructing” metaphysics by exposing its hidden contradictions, philosophy must “deconfabulate,” telling fables about philosophy to undo its enchantments, since it is through the fable that the spell of silence, which itself originates in fable, can be broken. This “epigonal” method, which follows after the tradition rather than seeking a new grounding, is itself justified through Agamben’s account, in The End of the Poem, of the Italian, as opposed to Germanic, physiognomy and of a specifically Italian relation to language going back to Dante. To be Italian is to embrace the “deadness” of one’s own language, rejecting the myth of the resurrection of the original potencies of a dead classical language through a living, modern language.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6539
Print ISSN
0300-7162
Pages
pp. 68-94
Launched on MUSE
2016-05-06
Open Access
No
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