An inquiry into modes of existence : an anthropology of the moderns / Bruno Latour ; translated by Catherine Porter.

by Latour, Bruno [author.]Looking glass.

Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, [2013]Description: xxvii, 486 pages ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9780674724990 ; 0674724992 .Other title: Enquête sur les modes d'existence Original title.Subject(s): Civilization, Modern -- PhilosophyLooking glass | Philosophical anthropologyLooking glass
Contents:
Part 1. How to make an inquiry into the modes of existence of the moderns possible -- part 2. How to benefit from the Pluralism of modes of existence -- part 3. How to redefine the collectives.
Note: "The book was originally published as Enquête sur les modes d'existence : une anthropologie des Modernes in 2012.Language: Translated from the French. Summary: In this new book, Bruno Latour offers answers to questions raised in We Have Never Been Modern, a work that interrogated the connections between nature and culture. If not modern, he asked, what have we been, and what values should we inherit? Over the past twenty-five years, Latour has developed a research protocol different from the actor-network theory with which his name is now associated - a research protocol that follows the different types of connectors that provide specific truth conditions. These are the connectors that prompt a climate scientist challenged by a captain of industry to appeal to the institution of science, with its army of researchers and mountains of data, rather than to "capital-S Science" as a higher authority. Such modes of extension - or modes of existence, Latour argues here - account for the many differences between law, science, politics, and other domains of knowledge. Though scientific knowledge corresponds to only one of the many possible modes of existence Latour describes, an unrealistic vision of science has become the arbiter of reality and truth, seducing us into judging all values by a single standard. Latour implores us to recover other modes of existence in order to do justice to the plurality of truth conditions that Moderns have discovered throughout their history. This sytematic effort of building a new philosophical anthropology presents a completely different view of what Moderns have been, and provides a new basis for opening diplomatic encounters with other societies at a time when all societies are coping with ecological crisis. -- from book jacket.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In this new book, Bruno Latour offers answers to questions raised in We Have Never Been Modern, a work that interrogated the connections between nature and culture. If not modern, he asked, what have we been, and what values should we inherit? Over the past twenty-five years, Latour has developed a research protocol different from the actor-network theory with which his name is now associated--a research protocol that follows the different types of connectors that provide specific truth conditions. These are the connectors that prompt a climate scientist challenged by a captain of industry to appeal to the institution of science, with its army of researchers and mountains of data, rather than to "capital-S Science" as a higher authority. Such modes of extension--or modes of existence, Latour argues here--account for the many differences between law, science, politics, and other domains of knowledge.

Though scientific knowledge corresponds to only one of the many possible modes of existence Latour describes, an unrealistic vision of science has become the arbiter of reality and truth, seducing us into judging all values by a single standard. Latour implores us to recover other modes of existence in order to do justice to the plurality of truth conditions that Moderns have discovered throughout their history. This systematic effort of building a new philosophical anthropology presents a completely different view of what Moderns have been, and provides a new basis for opening diplomatic encounters with other societies at a time when all societies are coping with ecological crisis.

"The book was originally published as Enquête sur les modes d'existence : une anthropologie des Modernes in 2012.

Part 1. How to make an inquiry into the modes of existence of the moderns possible -- part 2. How to benefit from the Pluralism of modes of existence -- part 3. How to redefine the collectives.

In this new book, Bruno Latour offers answers to questions raised in We Have Never Been Modern, a work that interrogated the connections between nature and culture. If not modern, he asked, what have we been, and what values should we inherit? Over the past twenty-five years, Latour has developed a research protocol different from the actor-network theory with which his name is now associated - a research protocol that follows the different types of connectors that provide specific truth conditions. These are the connectors that prompt a climate scientist challenged by a captain of industry to appeal to the institution of science, with its army of researchers and mountains of data, rather than to "capital-S Science" as a higher authority. Such modes of extension - or modes of existence, Latour argues here - account for the many differences between law, science, politics, and other domains of knowledge. Though scientific knowledge corresponds to only one of the many possible modes of existence Latour describes, an unrealistic vision of science has become the arbiter of reality and truth, seducing us into judging all values by a single standard. Latour implores us to recover other modes of existence in order to do justice to the plurality of truth conditions that Moderns have discovered throughout their history. This sytematic effort of building a new philosophical anthropology presents a completely different view of what Moderns have been, and provides a new basis for opening diplomatic encounters with other societies at a time when all societies are coping with ecological crisis. -- from book jacket.

Translated from the French.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

French sociologist Latour (Sciences Po, Paris) continues to pursue the questions he raised in his highly regarded We Have Never Been Modern. In particular, he considers how modern thinkers separate nature and humans and are detached from past ways of thinking; he also addresses the distinction and lack of interaction between current institutions and areas of knowledge. Latour's "anthropology of the moderns" is not just a physical book but also a website (www.modesofexistence.org) that will eventually allow readers to look at the different modes of existence and even add their own interpretations of how or whether they interact. In the end, Latour hopes that his study will bring about the realization that connecting and opening up to different modes of existence offers a better understanding of reality and truths. VERDICT With the book's content and website, Latour's study has an intriguing structure. Like his past works, this will appeal to readers with a background in sociology or philosophy.-Scott Duimstra, Capital Area Dist. Lib., Lansing, MI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Bruno LaTour was born in the French province of Burgundy, where his family has been making wine for many generations. He was educated in Dijon, where he studied philosophy and Biblical exegesis. He then went to Africa, to complete his military service, working for a French organization similar to the American Peace Corps. While in Africa he became interested in the social sciences, particularly anthropology.

LaTour believes that through his interests in philosophy, theology, and anthropology, he is actually pursuing a single goal, to understand the different ways that truth is built. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, LaTour has written about the philosophy and sociology of science in an original, insightful, and sometimes quirky way. Works that have been translated to English include The Pasteurization of France; Laboratory Life; Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society; We Have Never Been Modern; and Aramis, or the Love of Technology.

LaTour is a professor at the Center for the Sociology of Innovation, a division of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines, in Paris.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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