A sort of disposession of the self
i've read this numerous times over the last ten years and posted it several times in various blogs and each time i notice something new in it. today it was a sort of dispossession of the self.
Q. As I understand it, almost every philosopher has had a vision of the good and the right or of a philosophical life as well. What does yours look like?
Agamben: The idea that one should make his life a work of art is attributed mostly today to Foucault and to his idea of the care of the self. Pierre Hadot, the great historian of ancient philosophy, reproached Foucault that the care of the self of the ancient philosophers did not mean the construction of life as a work of art, but on the contrary a sort of dispossession of the self. What Hadot could not understand is that for Foucault, the two things coincide. You must remember Foucault’s criticism of the notion of author, his radical dismissal of authorship. In this sense, a philosophical life, a good and beautiful life, is something else: when your life becomes a work of art, you are not the cause of it. I mean that at this point you feel your own life and yourself as something “thought,” but the subject, the author, is no longer there. The construction of life coincides with what Foucault referred to as “se deprendre de soi.” And this is also Nietzsche’s idea of a work of art without the artist.
German Law Journal No. 5 (1 May 2004) – Special Edition Interview with Giorgio Agamben – Life, A Work of Art Without an Author: The State of Exception, the Administration of Disorder and Private Life