Bruno Latour in Pieces: An Intellectual Biography by Henning Schmidgen

By Henning Schmidgen

Bruno Latour stirs issues up. Latour all started as a lover of technological know-how and know-how, co-founder of actor-network thought, and thinker of a modernity that had "never been modern." meanwhile he's seemed not only as some of the most clever and in addition well known exponents of technological know-how reviews but in addition as an enormous innovator of the social sciences, an exemplary wanderer who walks the road among the sciences and the humanities.

This ebook presents the 1st accomplished evaluation of the Latourian oeuvre, from his early anthropological experiences in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), to influential books like Laboratory lifestyles and technology in motion, and his most modern reflections on an empirical metaphysics of "modes of existence." during this enquiry it turns into transparent that the elemental challenge to which Latour's paintings responds is that of social culture, the transmission of expertise and data. What this empirical thinker always grapples with is the advanced dating of data, time, and culture.

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Founded in the early 1960s, the FMSH is a humanities and social sciences research institute that is interdisciplinary and has an international orientation. Thus it was not surprising to fi nd a project named PAREX at its premises on Boulevard Raspail in the early 1970s. This project had been initiated by the psychologist Gérard Lemaine in PARis and the science historian Roy McLeod of SussEX 40 Machines of Tradition 41 University. The PAREX project had been set up to promote collaboration in the emerging field of sociology of science on both sides of the Channel.

This is the first time but certainly not the last that Latour will hear objections like these, sometimes from scientists, sometimes from sociologists and philosophers. Yet this did not result in an overt breach between the two men, only a distancing. Later, Guillemin only speaks about Latour in a guarded fashion, and Latour speaks of the “disinterest” (LLF Acknowledgements) shown by the famous neuroendocrinologist from the Salk Institute who made possible the field research that was presented two years later in Laboratory Life.

In Latour’s opinion, if the gospels were read vertically after the manner of Lévi-Strauss’s method, this would actually reveal that they have the same internal structure, the same rhythm as Clio. In this way the gospels and their tradition are relocated against the backdrop of reflection that Péguy sets up in the Clio dialogue: “the great and constant movement of exegeses, rereadings, and revisions of the Holy Scriptures belong exactly to the machinery that Clio has made its subject” (RP 93). Ideology In the introduction to this first publication Latour introduces himself as an agrégé of philosophy who is the top student of his year (1972) and who, 20 Exegesis and Ethnology despite his “youth,” wishes to make a contribution to the hundredth anniversary of Péguy’s birth.

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