Subtitles: seminar 3, Beast and Sovereign I

An interesting exercise: to subtitle Derrida’s seminar. You can see how he puts questions in place in order to frame the main analysis. The centre piece of seminar three is really the juxtaposition between Schmitt and Macchiavelli’s interpretation of what is proper to politics. I’ll publish a proper summary of this soon, but I thought a set of subtitles might be interesting in itself. This could be improved – the logic of description here needs consideration, does one use the literal subject matter, the conceptual import, both, something else? Anyway, here’s a first attempt.

1. Frame: Rousseau’s “I lived like a real werewolf”, sexual difference
2. Don’t forget the wolves: Freud’s Wolf Man (deferred)
3. Sexual difference again, the sovereign ‘himself’, Benveniste: zoo-anthropological, not biopolitical analysis
4. Three ways of relating to animals – Thousand Plateaus: the bestial and bêtise: what is proper to man, 68-71
5. Schmitt: politics and ‘humanity’ as depoliticising 71-4
6. Excursus on method and aims: repoliticisation 75-6
7. ‘The reason of the strongest’, open questions on the oath, pedagogy, forgetting the wolves again: zoomorphic compulsions in political philosophy, 77-80
8. Machiavelli, The Centaur and the double mixture of the prince, 82-91
9. Agamben forgets the wolves 92-95
10. Close: Rousseau on werewolves again 96

Page numbers are to the English pagination. In hindsight I should have used the French, but there it is.


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