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In Praise of the Common

In Praise of the Common: A Conversation on Philosophy and Politics

Cesare Casarino
Antonio Negri
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 324
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  • Book Info
    In Praise of the Common
    Book Description:

    In Praise of the Common is the most complete review of Antonio Negri’s work ever published, detailing for the first time the genealogy of his concepts. This is at once a book by Negri and on Negri and presents, for the first time in English, a major essay by him on the “monster” as a political figure in the history of Western thought.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6628-7
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Surplus Common: A Preface
    (pp. 1-40)
    Cesare Casarino
  4. A Class-Struggle Propaedeutics, 1950s–1970s
    (pp. 41-62)

    CESARE CASARINO: I would like to begin by asking you to reflect on the most significant moments and events of your political and philosophical formation from the 1950s onward.

    ANTONIO NEGRI: Besides the indelible marks left by the war when I was a child, my first moment of politicization as an adult took place during my brief involvement with Azione Cattolica [Catholic Action] in the early 1950s.¹ At the time, I was already studying philosophy at the University of Padua. But while the department of philosophy there was dominated by fairly conventional interpretations of Thomistic doctrine, with the leftist priests...

  5. Sounding the Present

    • On Empire
      (pp. 65-98)

      CESARE CASARINO: In many respects,Empirestands out as an anomaly among your works. Many of your other books are works of textual analysis, that is, works that produce concepts and put forth arguments on the basis of detailed analyses either of a specific text (such as your books on Marx’sGrundrisse,on the biblical book of Job) or of a specific constellation of texts (such as your books on Spinoza, on Descartes, on Lenin, on Giacomo Leopardi). These are all works that—among other things—attempt a radical reevaluation of a thinker by undertaking intensive and extensive close readings...

    • On Multitude
      (pp. 99-133)

      CESARE CASARINO: I would like to begin our discussion ofMultitudeby addressing the relation between democracy and communism in this work. In many respects, the question of democracy—of what it can still mean nowadays, of how to achieve it, etc.—is posited explicitly as the central question of this work. When it comes to the question of communism, however, matters become more complicated. On the one hand, from a lexical point of view communism is marginal at best: the term “communism,” in fact, appears only twice in the whole work.

      ANTONIO NEGRI: Only twice?

      CC: Yes, I think...

  6. Vicissitudes of Constituent Thought
    (pp. 134-190)

    CESARE CASARINO: I would like to begin this conversation by turning to those contemporary thinkers whom I believe come closest in some respects to your philosophical positions and political projects, namely, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Michel Foucault. Clearly, you have much in common with each of them. There are also important and substantial differences that separate your positions from theirs. You have at times drawn attention to such differences. At the end of your “Twenty Theses on Marx,” for example, you acknowledge their importance for your work and also point out their limitations, which for you consist of the...

  7. Notes on a Politics of the Future Anterior

    • The Political Monster: Power and Naked Life
      (pp. 193-218)
      Antonio Negri

      “Eugenia” means that one is “well born,” that one will be “beautiful and good.” Classical metaphysics has given body to this concept and developed systems of definitions that pertain to it. Therefore, the universal will be, in the metaphysical tradition that originates from the classical world, always interlocked with eugenic values. Consequently, only those who are good and beautiful, eugenically pure, are entitled to command. This is the dimension (the original matrix and the futuredispositif) ofGreek parlance in philosophy.Indeed, to speak ofarchéis to speak at the same time of “origin” and of “command”—in the...

    • Time Matters: Marx, Negri, Agamben, and the Corporeal
      (pp. 219-246)
      Cesare Casarino

      On the first page of an essay written in 1978, “Time and History: Critique of the Instant and the Continuum,” Giorgio Agamben writes:

      The original task of a genuine revolution . . . is never merely to “change the world,” but also—and first of all—to “change time.” Modern political thought has concentrated its attention on history, and has not elaborated a corresponding conception of time. Even historical materialism has until now neglected to elaborate a concept of time that compares with its concept of history. Because of this omission it has been unwittingly compelled to have recourse to...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 247-294)
  9. Index
    (pp. 295-314)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 315-315)