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Third Person


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Table of Contents

Introduction i. The double life (The machine of the human sciences) ii. Person, man, thing iii. Third person 1. Non-person 2. The animal 3. The Other (Autrui) 4. He/She 5. The neuter 6. The outside 7. The event

About the Author

Roberto Esposito is professor of theoretical philosophy at the Italian Institute of Human Sciences in Naples and Florence.


'Third Person recasts the nebulous history of biopolitics with insight and ingenuity. Weaving together the biological, anthropological, linguistic and philosophic filaments of its genesis, Esposito finds that both liberal traditions of personalism and the catastrophic biopolitics of the twentieth-century share a common focus in the centrality of personhood.' Evening Haze "In this slim and powerful volume, Roberto Esposito not only diagnoses how this dispositif undermines attempts to secure human rights, but he also provides humankind a means of moving forward, past the person, into the life-validating realm of the impersonal." Marx and Philosophy "Is there a term that dominates thought today more than person? From biotechnology and social networking to corporations, person increasingly appears as the dark heart of contemporary life. In this compelling and at times troubling reflection, Roberto Esposito measures the biopolitical costs of our obsession with everything personal in a failed project of the common. In place of the person, Esposito counsels the impersonal perspective of the 'third person.' Part genealogy, part philosophical guide-book, this book is a bold reflection on life and politics that continues in unexpected ways Esposito's previous readings of biopolitics." Timothy Campbell, Cornell University "Beyond the horizon of Western subjectivity, behind the sacralization of the person, lies Esposito's impersonal life. Deconstructing the 'human' and its juridical-biological constitution, Third Person casts incisive light on the perilous region which silently encircles it - the event, its anonymity and uncanniness." Andrea Rossi, Lancaster University

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