Journal article

As Fire Burns: Philosophy, Slavery, Technology

J Clemens

Crisis and Critique | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2018


There is an ancient, if rarely thematized bond between philosophy and slavery. As Alain Badiou has recently remarked, ‘this [rarety] is especially because from the outset everything is in some sense divided.’ For the figure of the slave divides philosophy at its inception, cutting across the divisions of the polis, freedom, and justice. My thesis is that this paradox of the slave is at once foundational and aporetic for philosophy: when the slave appears within the text of philosophy, it thereafter has certain disorganising, if revelatory effects. Moreover, the paradox of the slave is linked integrally to another ancient phenomenon: judicial torture as the model of the extraction of knowledg..

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University of Melbourne Researchers