Philosopher AI
Purchase queries
What would constitute a Cosmopolitical Gesture, starting from Agamben's work on the gesture?
Agamben defines a gesture as the virtuality of an event. He sees it as a human action in its potential for becoming, but not yet actualised. In this sense, gestures are not simply actions that are to be done; they are also what is left over when an action has been accomplished.
The idea of the gesture being something that is virtual and not just actuality is interesting, but it contains some paradoxes. Aristotle on the other hand defines a gesture as an action that does not have any purpose - one cannot explain why one did it; there was no meaning in doing it, there was no reason to do what one did.
In this sense, the gesture is not virtual at all. It does not contain any potential for becoming; it is always actualised and therefore complete.
Agamben's idea of the virtuality of gestures, however, is very useful to my project.
For him, the gesture is a human action that has yet to be actualised but can become actualised. For example, when one holds out one's hand for shaking and waits for another person to take it in order to shake hands with them.
The gesture is not over when the handshake has taken place, because one's hand can remain outstretched. This gesture therefore contains an element of potentiality for becoming actualised and so does not yet have any final completion.