They concern his core terms — communitas, immunitas, and the munus. However, although Esposito begins Communitas by discussing the munus, the trajectory I trace follows a necessary logic of emergence and justification. Claim 1 communitas : Existence is irreducibly communitarian. This claim alters fundamentally what we are talking about when we talk about community. Typically, communitarian political theorists use community as a name for collective identity or for a group. Communitas names a general ontological condition.
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No theme has been more central to international philosophical debates than that of community: from American communitarianism to Habermas's ethic of communication to the French deconstruction of community in the work of Derrida and Nancy. Nevertheless, in none of these cases has the concept been examined from the perspective of community's original etymological meaning: cum munus.
The result of his extraordinary conceptual and lexical analysis is a radical overturning of contemporary interpretations of community. Community isn't a property, nor is it a territory to be separated and defended against those who do not belong to it. Rather, it is a void, a debt, a gift to the other that also reminds us of our constitutive alterity with respect to ourselves. Old political notions need not to be replaced by new ones, but through historical reflection it is important to trace what has remained unthought in those concepts.
Esposito's reflections are most stimulating. This important and attractive translation brings to political theorists working in English Esposito's skill at speaking across the division between the analytic continental traditions. The reader feels guided through debates of great complexity by a generous expert who knows not only the major arguments, but the minor caveats and inconsistencies as well.
His argument poses a challenge for anyone who wants to think community today. Loeb and David F. Tinsley, Edited by Alan D. Schrift and Duncan Large. Friedrich Nietzsche, Edited by Alan D. Leiner, Paul S. Loeb, Alan D. Schrift, and David F. Tinsley, and Mirko Wittwar. Description Desc. Table of Contents. More in Philosophy—Ethics and Moral Philosophy.
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Communitas: The Origin and Destiny of Community
Roberto Esposito is an Italian philosopher, who is important for his work in biopolitics. Orsola Benincasa. He is editor of the 'Teoria e Oggetti' series published by Liguori and also acts as a philosophy consultant for publishers Einaudi. His monograph, Living Thought. The Origins and Actuality of Italian Philosophy trans. Zakiya Hanafi, Stanford UP, , is dedicated to Italian philosophical thought, and aims at creating a historical and theoretical background for the definition of the notion of "Italian Theory". He has been featured in the Summer and Fall issues of the journal Diacritics and the Fall special issue of Angelaki.