chapter  19
16 Pages

Nicholas Heron (2011), 'The Ungovernable', Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 16, pp. 159-74

[19] D efinitions do not figure prominently in the work of Giorgio Agamben. For a thinker whose distinct method is characterised by a scrupulous attentiveness to terminology as to the matter itself of thought, indeed whose philosophy may not inaccurately be described as a "philo· sophy of terminology," his own technical terms - in this sense, much like those of the predecessors to whom he refers - remain, for the most part, insistently undefined.1 It is dear that this does not amount to a form of willed esotericism on his part. Indeed, if it is true, as he has suggested, that in every work of thought there is something like an "unsaid," something which must remain unthematised or unexpressed, there are, to be sure, decidedly different ways of approaching and circumscribing it. There are authors, he has written, who seek to draw as dose as possible to this unsaid and to evoke it at least allusively; others, instead, connoisseurs of esoteric knowledge, who consciously and deliberately resolve to leave it enveloped in darkness.2 And yet: "Only a thought that does not hide its own unsaid, but incessantly takes it up and develops it anew, can possibly lay claim to originality. ,,3