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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 23, Issue 1, Fall 2018

Esben Korsgaard Rasmussen
Pages 19-46
DOI: 10.5840/epoche2018718118

Aristotle and the Constitution of the Political Community

In this paper I will argue that the distinction between biological life and political life as found in Hannah Arendt’s reading of Aristotle and later repeated and elaborated by Giorgio Agamben under the headings of (“bare life”) and (“qualified life”), is in fact a fertile point of entry to , and the only viable option in order the grasp what constitutes the political as such for Aristotle. By hashing out the conceptual steps necessary for the establishment of what can be called a “political community” , I seek to illuminate how the distinction upon which much of Arendt’s and Agamben’s works rests, does indeed play a vital role in the work of Aristotle. By clarifying the nature of a “political community” according to Aristotle, this paper thus seeks to make a proper assessment of the thought of both Arendt and Agamben possible.