An-arche and Indifference: Between Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, and Reiner Schürmann

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


This essay explores Giorgio Agamben's engagement with Reiner Schürmann, focusing in particular on their ontological understanding of anarchy. Setting out from the lacuna in the literature on this issue, it provides a close reading of the passages where Agamben addresses Schürmann, interrogates the role of the arche in Agamben's works and links his interest in Schürmann to his long-standing critique of Derrida. Tracing these issues through Agamben's and Schürmann's texts, it becomes apparent that both authors operate with a strikingly similar approach, even as they adumbrate different understandings of the rapport between arche, anarchy and difference. Focusing on the epilogue of The Use of Bodies, the essay argues in particular that Schürmann's work can be seen as an incisive reference point in Agam-ben's recent theory of "destituent potential." Here, arche and anarchy are positioned as the basic operative categories of the entire Homo Sacer project. With and against Schürmann's attempt to think anarchy as an interruption of identity through difference, Agamben develops his notion of anarchy as indifference and inoperativity.
ZeitschriftPhilosophy Today
Seiten (von - bis)619-636
Anzahl der Seiten18
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2021