Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Plato and the Invention of Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Naas

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279678

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279678.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 16 October 2019

Plato and the Invention of Life Itself

Plato and the Invention of Life Itself

Chapter:
(p.164) Chapter 7 Plato and the Invention of Life Itself
Source:
Plato and the Invention of Life
Author(s):

Michael Naas

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823279678.003.0008

The final chapter takes many of the insights from the previous chapters in order to show, through a more general reading of Plato’s dialogues, how Plato attempts always to move from what is commonly called life, that is, from a more biological conception of life, a life of the body or of the animal, to a spiritual life or a life of the soul, that is, from something like bare life to real life, from particular life-forms to an essence or form of life itself, the only life, in end, worthy of the name for Plato. This chapter thus concentrates on several later dialogues in which Plato begins to distinguish two different valences of life, human life in the polis (bios) as opposed to what Giorgio Agamben calls “bare life” (zōē), but also, and more importantly, human life as opposed to something like real life. It is the initial distinction between human life and bare life that allows for this reinscription or transformation of bare life into something like real life or life itself, a transformation, it is argued, that is decisive not just for Plato but for the entire neo-Platonic and Christian tradition that takes its inspiration from him.

Keywords:   Giorgio Agamben, bare life, bios, Christianity, neo-Platonism, Plato, real life, zoe

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .