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The Second BirthOn the Political Beginnings of Human Existence$
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Tilo Schabert

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226038056

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226185156.001.0001

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In Body

In Body

(p.15) In Body
The Second Birth

Tilo Schabert

, Javier Ibáñez-Noé
University of Chicago Press

The very fact that human beings share a space, in which their bodies, as physical masses, cannot occupy the same place, raises the need for political existence. This is because bodily existence is directly tied to the emergence of relations of power. Bodily existence makes human beings not only subjects of power, but also objects of power. This fact necessitates a civilization, i.e., a second birth of human beings. These connections are best seen when we compare the human situation to that of angels. It is because human beings, unlike angels, have an (empirical) body, that they require a political order. Such a political order is thus to be contrasted both with a-historical paradisiacal conditions, as well as with the para-empirical notion of a “natural man,” as Ibn Khaldûn has shown through his distinction between a “hypothetically” and an “empirically” proceeding political science.

Keywords:   body-politics, Angelic vs. human existence, historical vs. paradisiacal times, golden age, Anthropogonic logic

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