I’m with Pickering that projecting human qualities thinking/etc onto non-humans (let alone figures of speech) is to erase their truly alien otherness so interesting to see Latour push back in this way.
Check out an essay by Latour on How Forests Think — free, and oddly interesting.
The essay, which is featured in the Journal of Ethnographic Theory (an awesome, peer-reviewed, open-access on-line journal), is about far more than just reviewing Eduardo Kohn’s fascinating and fascinatingly odd book How Forests Think. Latour, using a conversational tone that at times annoying but still quite engaging because of its seriousness, positions Kohn’s book among as a tiny little part of a broader movement to equip social scientists with new shift toward ontology and finding methods for studying things like nature (i.e., these human-nonhuman carpets of existence).
Latour is an interesting choice to review the book because Kohn — armed with Pierce and semiosis — dishes on good old actor-network theory. Now, it was my thinking that Latour had sort of left behind that old theory-not-a-theory, but in this essay (posted only days…
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