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Master Thesis

Norme et exception chez Giorgio Agamben : un philosophe face à l'État de droit

Abstract : The critical radicalism of Agamben's works has to be considered all the more seriously as it has hardly been the object of systematic studies up to now - at least in French. In light of those observations, this work aims at assessing Agamben's outlook on the rule of law in order to ultimately specify its relevance, its validity and its limits in the context of a reinvention of our democracy.
In the first part we shall uncover the Agambenian intellectual world in all its coherence and diversity by explaining how his way of thinking is shaped in relation with that of Foucault, Schmitt and Benjamin - to mention but the most striking authors. In light of this contextualisation it will then be possible to go back over Agamben's use of prominent categories for his understanding of contemporary conditions such as exception, biopower and glory. For each of those cardinal notions, we shall strive to clarify the controversy at stake that is underlain by its use.
Such a literal understanding of the Agambenian approach opens the possibility of a constructive criticism of his conclusions. The latter is carried out in two domains. The first one, which is crucial for political thought, is that of the normative ambition of Agamben's project, examined through the question of resistance to the deathly ways of governing he identifies and that of potential alternatives to that repressive system. Then we shall raise an ethical and methodological question by examining the Agambenian practice of history - through his paradigmatic use of camps - and by emphasizing the problems that are raised by his nihilist interpretation of modernity.
This work directly leads us to think of a possible renewal of democracy while maintaining a relation - not devoid of a critical dimension - with Agamben's positions. In the same vein as the analyses by Claude Lefort and Michel Abensour, we are thus propelled into thinking about a wild democracy standing up to the State, fuelling its demanding vitality not by the rejection of law but by its revolutionary subversion, and displaying hostility to any permanent formalisation.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 9:55:22 AM
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  • HAL Id : dumas-00530240, version 1

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Pierre Derumeaux. Norme et exception chez Giorgio Agamben : un philosophe face à l'État de droit. Philosophie. 2010. ⟨dumas-00530240⟩

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