Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 1, Fall 2011

Giorgio Agamben

Benjamin S. Pryor
Pages 65-78

On the “Perfect Time of Human Experience”
Agamben and Foucault

This essay articulates a convergence between Foucault and Agamben: the possibility of an uncomplicated belonging to the profane, or to the perfect time of human experience. Agamben articulates a sense of experience as experience that “tears me from myself,” that points to a transformed conception of the world and a body and that connects his thinking to Foucault’s. This article places Agamben with Foucault outside of the alternative between messianism and pessimism. In the “perfect time of human experience,” in potentiality, possibility, and absolute immanence, Agamben finds a way of experiencing, a path along which philosophy has always wanted to step, one that I argue is taken in Foucault’s bio-politics.