Actor-network theory has been characterised by a strong aversion to cognitive metaphors and explanations ever since its early history. In the Postscript to the second edition of Laboratory Life (1986: 280), Latour and Woolgar go as far as calling for a moratorium on cognitive explanations:”Perhaps the best way to express our position is by proposing a ten-year moratorium on cognitive explanations of science. If our French epistemologist colleagues are sufficiently confident in the paramount importance of cognitive phenomena for understanding science, they will accept the challenge. We hereby promise that if anything remains to be explained at the end of this period, we too will turn to the mind!”
Archive for May, 2009
Graham Harman‘s most recent article, ”Technology, objects and things in Heidegger,” just published online in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, is another feat of compression in the best traditions of Harmanesque distillation. While in his Heidegger Explained (2007) he had already managed to compress Heidegger’s life’s work into a mere 183 pages, this time Harman summarised Heidegger’s thought in less than 5000 words. While the focus is on Heidegger’s thinking about technology, objects and things, as the title suggests, Harman not only elucidates these concepts but also uses them to interpret Heidegger’s entire philosophy.
An article on Michel Serres and his association with Stanford University: “Michel Serres, one of France’s ‘immortels,’ tells the ‘grand récit’ at Stanford.” There is also a video with the man himself here.
Bruno Latour quote of the week:
“JEAN-CHRISTOPHE ROYOUX: It’s precisely at a time when we’ve never spoken so much about globalization that the account of the dislocation of the Cosmos as natural unity appears. Isn’t this paradoxical?
BRUNO LATOUR: It’s bizarre but it’s not a paradox: before, we had the Globe and no globalization, but now we have globalization and nothing but blogs!”
From a delightful little volume called Cosmograms by Melik Ohanian and Jean-Christophe Royoux (2005), Lukas & Sternberg, New York (p. 215).