By Bruno Latour
In this new booklet, Bruno Latour bargains solutions to questions raised in We Have by no means Been smooth, a paintings that interrogated the connections among nature and tradition. If now not smooth, he requested, what have we been, and what values may still we inherit? over the last twenty-five years, Latour has constructed a learn protocol diverse from the actor-network idea with which his identify is now associated--a examine protocol that follows the different sorts of connectors that supply particular fact stipulations. those are the connectors that recommended a weather scientist challenged by way of a captain of to entice the institution of technology, with its military of researchers and mountains of knowledge, instead of to "capital-S Science" as the next authority. Such modes of extension--or modes of lifestyles, Latour argues here--account for the numerous transformations among legislations, technological know-how, politics, and different domain names of knowledge.
notwithstanding clinical wisdom corresponds to just one of many many attainable modes of life Latour describes, an unrealistic imaginative and prescient of technological know-how has develop into the arbiter of truth and fact, seducing us into judging all values by means of a unmarried regular. Latour implores us to get well different modes of lifestyles that allows you to do justice to the plurality of fact stipulations that Moderns have found all through their heritage. This systematic attempt of establishing a brand new philosophical anthropology offers a totally diverse view of what Moderns were, and gives a brand new foundation for starting diplomatic encounters with different societies at a time whilst all societies are dealing with ecological crisis.
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Extra resources for An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns
This inquiry into values, as they have been extracted, cherished, misunderstood, mistreated, patched back together, and appropriated by the West as its patrimony, seeks to contribute to the planetary negotiation that we are going to have to undertake in preparation for the times when we shall no longer be in a position of strength and when the others will be the ones purporting to “modernize”—but in the old way and, as it were, without us! We shall claim, even so, that we have something to 16 Trusting Institutions Again?
27 An investigator goes off to do fieldwork among the Moderns � L et us imagine an anthropologist who has come up with the idea of reconsti- tuting the value system of “Western societies”—a terrain whose precise boundaries mat- ter little at this stage. Let us imagine as well that, informed by reading good recent authors, she has overcome the temptation to limit her studies among the Moderns to the aspects that superficially resemble the classical terrains of anthropology—various folklores, village festivals, ancient patrimonies, assorted archaic features.
As a result, the touchstone that served to distinguish past from present, to sketch out the modernization front that was ready to encompass the planet by offering an identity to those who felt “modern,” has lost all its efficacy. It is now before Gaia that we are summoned to appear: Gaia, the odd, doubly composite figure made up of science and mythology used by certain specialists to designate the Earth that surrounds us and that we surround, the Möbius strip of which we form both the inside and the outside, the truly global Globe that threatens us even as we threaten it.
An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns by Bruno Latour