My translation of Agamben’s Karman: A Brief Treatise on Action, Guilt, and Gesture is now available for purchase. It is one of my favorite Agamben books that I’ve translated, bringing together themes from The Sacrament of Language and Opus Dei in a fresh way. Here is the back cover copy:
What does it mean to be responsible for our actions? In this brief and elegant study, Giorgio Agamben traces our most profound moral intuitions back to their roots in the sphere of law and punishment. Moral accountability, human free agency, and even the very concept of cause and effect all find their origin in the language of the trial, which Western philosophy and theology both transform into the paradigm for all of human life. In his search for a way out of this destructive paradigm, Agamben not only draws on minority opinions within the Western tradition but engages at length with Buddhist texts and concepts for the first time. In sum, Karman deepens and rearticulates some of Agamben’s core insights while breaking significant new ground.