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The Open: Man and Animal
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The Open: Man and Animal

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  649 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
The end of human history is an event that has been foreseen or announced by both messianics and dialecticians. But who is the protagonist of that history that is coming—or has come—to a close? What is man? How did he come on the scene? And how has he maintained his privileged place as the master of, or first among, the animals?

In The Open, contemporary Italian philosopher
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Stanford University Press (first published 2002)
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Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Will drive you to Southern Comfort, genocidal nightmares, weeping. Also, I think it made me accidentally marry Martin Heideggar. Not funny.
Jan 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
One of those texts where the author is ostensibly trying to share some very interesting insights into the human condition, yet one can't help but wonder why he only wants people who have studied philosophy or critical theory to understand it. A friend of mine calls this sort of writing "intellectual masturbation", and I can't think of a more fitting description.
Recommended for people who really like Heidegger and sounding smart. Not recommended for naturalists or scientific realists.

Apr 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
The depth of Agamben's scholarship, and the command of materials that he cites is simply incredible. In this work, he explores what it is that distinguishes the concept of "humanity" from that of "animal". It's a fascinating journey through medieval Jewish mystical texts, Linnaeus, and modern philosophy.
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
این کتاب مرا "می گیرد"،" گرفتن" به مثابه Benommenheit . که مسحور شدن نیست. مرا می نشاند و کلمه ها را میچیند( آنچنان که خود می گوید) تا نمایش "مانیفستی از برای آشکارسازی این اپراسیون،این ماشین انتروپولوژیک" را به نحوی احسن برایم به رخ بکشد.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Debo primero decir que nunca leo libros de filosofía. Por lo tanto, esperaba que este libro presentara una forma de texto difícil de entender para mí. Sin embargo, me sorprendí en los primeros capítulos cuando la prosa de Agamben me resultó no solo llevadera sino incluso didáctica para presentar las ideas de otros filósofos y científicos también. Pero a partir de los capítulos de Heidegger, la prosa se vuelve compleja y difícil de desentrañar -- hay muchos términos que se dan por sentado e inclu ...more
Interesting to learn that Walter Benjamin knew Jakob von Uexkul, one of the founders of ecology. Both were enemies of the Nazis. This mix of the religious with science and philosophy in Agamben's writing is fascinating to me.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: class, non-fiction
My god, but this was thick. Rather like a summary of the authors of the term than anything particularly novel. Indeed, it was often difficult to tease out the original philosophy from the explorations of others'.
Read for lit theory. This made my brain hurt, in a good way.
Lucila ✨ not your feisty Latina ✨
For those of you who don't know it yet, I'm studying to get a Major in Letters and I had to read this in a course I'm currently taking. It's interesting enough but it's also very over-flowery, the author clearly wanted to write a book for intellectuals only and as a result, the pace is very slow and the explanations are vague.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understood about 20% of this book, but my professor said cool things about it.
Cathy Wang
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic
Chris Michael
Oct 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this work by Agamben. It was my first time reading him, and found his writing style to be very engaging. His utilization and understanding of outside sources is masterful, to say the least. He does a great job of controlling the flow of his argument, and I felt like he very rarely lost control of it. That being said, there are times when he is not necessarily the most reader-friendly (and yes, I realize this is critical theory, it's going to be complex and heady by nature, but t ...more
to get this out of the way: fuck Agamben, and don't read this unless you have to. my rating aside, there's not enough here to make it worth the effort, even for a short book.

less salvageable than Homo sacer. more interesting than Stato di eccezione. way more salvageable and way less fake-deep than La potenza del pensiero, La comunità che viene, or fucking Mezzi senza fine. too much time spent on Heidegger. Agamben's use of long quotations is always bad and this was like five straight chapters of
Jovi Ene
Grea filosofia asta :)
Giorgio Agamben se ocupă aici cu relația dintre om și animal, plecând de la câteva picturi celebre, dar în același timp împrumutând și discutând cărți cunoscute despre această relație, fie că vorbim de Heidegger sau de Walter Benjamin.
Chiar dacă filosofează de multe ori prea profund, câteva idei sunt și pe înțelesul neinițiaților: cum va arăta omul în timpurile postistorice, apariția limbajului uman, evoluționismul, apropierea omului de animal în starea de plictiseală etc.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some authors require a purpose to read them. Such was the case with Agamben's "The Open: Man and Animal" Really interesting meditation on Heidegger and the animal. Very rich stuff. It does quickly taper off at the end. Last 4 chapters not nearly as good as the first.
Riotaccordion loeffler
This is Agamben's attempt at analyzing the distinction between animal and man. It's interesting. I am not that deep into it but i like it so far.
Aug 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
...if I read this again I may digest a little more, and the rating might go up. What I got out of one reading I liked.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The "Tick" chapter is really interesting. Yeah, that's all I got.
Vahid Askarpour
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
يكى از بهترين و ساده ترين تقريرهايى كه تا بحال از انديشه هايدگر و خاستگاه هاى بوم شناختى اون خووندم.
Barış Özgür
harika bir içgörü, artistik bir formülasyon ama gene gönülsüz dilekler ve bol kredili hükümler. zor zamanlar kitabı olabilecekken aleyhte delil olmuş daha çok, üzüldüm.
Rui Coelho
A fair contribution to the clarification o the homo sacer/whatever subject concept.
Jul 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a project. I need some refreshing.
Trevor Wilson
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful. Need to return to this after reading Heidegger.
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May 30, 2014
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Sep 19, 2008
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May 20, 2011
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Jun 25, 2017
Jason Waldrop
rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2012
rated it liked it
May 03, 2010
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“Uexküll begins by carefully distinguishing the Umgebung, the
objective space in which we see a living being moving, from the
Umwelt, the environment-world that is constituted by a more or
less broad series of elements that he calls “carriers of significance”
(Bedeutungsträger) or of “marks” (Merkmalträger), which are the
only things that interest the animal. In reality, the Umgebung is
our own Umwelt, to which Uexküll does not attribute any particular
privilege and which, as such, can also vary according to the point of view from which we observe it. There does not exist a forest
as an objectively fixed environment: there exists a forest-forthe-park-ranger,
a forest-for-the-hunter, a forest-for-the-botanist,
a forest-for-the-wayfarer, a forest-for-the-nature-lover, a forest-forthe-carpenter,
and finally a fable forest in which Little Red Riding
Hood loses her way. Even a minimal detail—for example, the
stem of a wildflower—when considered as a carrier of significance,
constitutes a different element each time it is in a different environment,
depending on whether, for example, it is observed in the
environment of a girl picking flowers for a bouquet to pin to her
corset, in that of an ant for whom it is an ideal way to reach its
nourishment in the flower’s calyx, in that of the larva of a cicada
who pierces its medullary canal and uses it as a pump to construct
the fluid parts of its elevated cocoon, or finally in that of the cow
who simply chews and swallows it as food.”
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