The Centre for Medical Humanities is delighted to offer ‘The Use of Bodies‘ by Giorgio Agamben (Stanford University Press, 2016) for review. Expressions of interest are welcome from across the medical humanities.
Giorgio Agamben’s ‘Homo Sacer’ was one of the seminal works of political philosophy in recent decades. It was also the beginning of a series of interconnected investigations of staggering ambition and scope, investigating the deepest foundations of Western politics and thought.
‘The Use of Bodies’ represents the ninth and final volume in this twenty-year undertaking, breaking considerable new ground while clarifying the stakes and implications of the project as a whole. It comprises three major sections. The first uses Aristotle’s discussion of slavery as a starting point for radically rethinking notions of selfhood; the second calls for a complete reworking of Western ontology; and the third explores the enigmatic concept of “form-of-life,” which is in many ways the motivating force behind the entire Homo Sacer project. Interwoven between these major sections are shorter reflections on individual thinkers (Debord, Foucault, and Heidegger), while the epilogue pushes toward a new approach to political life that breaks with the destructive deadlocks of Western thought. ‘The Use of Bodies’ represents a true masterwork by one of our greatest living philosophers.
If you would like to review ‘Use of Bodies‘ (no more than 1,000 words in length), then please consult our reviewer’s guidelines and email our reviews editor with a short explanation of why you are well placed to review the book.