Articles

Articles

(142)
Fill in the Gap. A New Alliance for Social and Natural Sciences
2015

« Fill in the Gap. A New Alliance for Social and Natural Sciences » in Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (with Tommaso Venturini, Pablo Jensen and Bruno Latour) (2015) 18 (2) 1 http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/18/2/11.html

Abstract
In the last few years, electronic media brought a revolution in the traceability of social phenomena. As particles in a bubble chamber, social trajectories leave digital trails that can be analyzed to gain a deeper understanding of collective life. To make sense of these traces a renewed collaboration between social and natural scientists is needed. In this paper, we claim that current research strategies based on micro-macro models are unfit to unfold the complexity of collective existence and that the priority should instead be the development of new formal tools to exploit the richness of digital data.
Translations
No Other Translations Available
Digital Humanities, Quantitative methods, Social Theory
(141)
"The strange entanglement of jurimorphs"
2015

"The strange entanglement of jurimorphs" A chapter prepared for a volume edited by Kyle McGee; “Bruno Latour and the Passage of Law”, Edinburgh University Press.

Abstract
I want to stress how reassuring it is for me to see that it is actually the mode of existence I call [LAW] that has been so generously commented by English speaking jurists. Overall, I take this volume as a confirmation of my claim that [LAW] has resisted much better than all the other modes the crushing weight imposed by an exclusively epistemological definition of what true and false really mean. If I employed the legal institution to offer a tentative protection to the diversity of all the modes before the notion of preposition [PRE] was firmly instituted, it is because everyone seems to agree that law has its own way of defining true and false, although everyone also agrees that such a way does not resemble what is needed for extending the scope of referential statements [REF]. Even if this original way of the law is ridiculed for its formalism, belittled for its archaic dramaturgy, mocked for its wide use of imaginary solutions, it remains the case that it is always recognized that what holds legally, well, holds for good — in some fashion to be determined.
Translations
No Other Translations Available
Modes of Existence
(140)
“Counter a metaphysical machine with a bigger metaphysical machine.” Does An Inquiry into Modes of Existence have a system?
2015

English version by Stephen Muecke of a paper to be published in French in Les Temps Modernes

À métaphysique, métaphysique et demie. L’Enquête sur les modes d’existence forme-t-elle un système?
Abstract
Carolina Marinda — Since, in your book on the modes of existence (AIME), you invented a character, an anthropologist carrying out, in a way, your research work for you, I hope you will agree to an interrogation by a genuine anthropologist who is having real trouble doing her own research according to your methodological principles! Bruno Latour — A refusal would be quite out of place. Especially as the project aims to do something that is as unusual in philosophy as it is in anthropology, to do successful collective research.
Translations
No Other Translations Available
Modes of Existence
(139)
Anthropology at the Time of the Anthropocene - a personal view of what is to be studied
2014

Given at the 113th AAA meeting in Washington on the 5th of November 2014 as a Distinguished Lecture

Abstract
What an amazing gift! Sure it might be poisonous. But how silly it would be not to try to peek through the wrapping to take a glimpse of what is in store. Consider the situation: here is a battered scholarly discipline, always uncertain of its scientific status, constantly plagued by successive and violent “turns” (the “ontological turn” being only the more recent), a field which always finds itself dragged into the middle of harsh political conflicts, a discipline that runs the constant risk of being absorbed by neighboring specialties and voted out of existence by deans and administrators impatient of its methods and ideologies, a discipline that accepts being crushed under the weight of all the violence and domination suffered by the many populations it has decided to champion—a lost cause among all the lost causes; okay, you see the picture, and it is to this same discipline, which a few years ago, an amazing present was offered: pushed from behind by the vast extent of ecological mutations and dragged ahead by philosophers, historians, artists and activists, a sizeable group of natural scientists are describing the quandary of our time in terms that exactly match the standards, vices and virtues of that very discipline. Yes, what a gift! It is really embarrassing, especially if it is not deserved!
Translations
No Other Translations Available
Anthropology, Ecology & Political Ecology
(138)
How to Make Sure that Gaia is not a God of Totality
2014

Accepted for publication Theory and Society

Abstract
When I meet a geologist, a geographer, a geochemist, or some expert in geopolitics, after a few minutes of conversation about what sort of topic they research, I conclude: “Then, why don’t you say that you are, in fact” (and here I adapt my sentence to each specialty) “a Gaialogist, a Gaiagrapher, a Gaiachemist, or someone deeply involved in Gaiapolitics”. And then I observe with some amusement how they react to this falsely innocent change in the prefix. After all, geo- and Gaia share exactly the same etymology, both come from the same entity Gè, actually a chtonic divinity much older than Olympian gods and goddesses, the primitive power who is sometimes addressed with the very apt epithet of Thousand Folds. The reactions of the scientists thus addressed are hugely entertaining: they position themselves, according to my admittedly small sample, along a gradient that goes from utter incomprehension (“what did you say?”), then to indignation (“Me? A Gaia something, no way, absolutely not”) to surprise (“after all, why not? Yes, in a certain sense, if you say so”) to complete approval, as if this was somewhat obvious and no longer in need of being stressed that they work on Gaia (“yes of course, I have devoted my whole professional life to it, why do you ask?”)
Translations

Language: Portuguese
Translator:
Title: "Como garantir que Gaia não seja um deus da totalidade"
Volume: in Danowski, D., E. Viveiros de Castro e F. Süssekind, Os Mil Nomes de Gaia: Do Antropoceno à Idade da Terra
Publisher: Rio de Janeiro
Date: 2016

Compositionism, Ecology & Political Ecology, Social Theory
(137)
« How Better to Register the Agency of Things: Part 1, Semiotics », Part 2, Ontology»
2014

« How Better to Register the Agency of Things: Part 1,Semiotics », « « How Better to Register the Agency of Things: Part 2 : Ontology», Tanner Lectures, Yale, March 2014 (in print Tanner Lectures, 2014).

Abstract
It is under the notion of “agency” that I have regrouped some of the insights I gained from my work in science studies: hence the title: “How better to register the agency of things”. Tonight, Agency-One will deal more with semiotics, that is, with the trajectories of meaning. Tomorrow night, Agency-Two will deal with a more difficult aspect, namely with ontology, or rather “ontonomy” (not autonomy), that is, with the crossing of what is and what should be, with the drawing of the rules of what is. In both lectures, I will try to speak as if it was possible to devise a common language for those who thought themselves to be in two different and mostly opposite camps until they have been submitted to the same attacks by a third party bent on closing down all centers of learning. It is thus an exercise in diplomacy: can we ally together so as to resist a new enemy?
Translations
No Other Translations Available
Semiotics & Literature Studies
(136)
On some of the affects of capitalism
2014

Lecture given at the Danish Royal Academy of Science on Wednesday the 26th of February 2014

Abstract
I will take capitalism to mean not a thing in the world, but a certain way of being affected when trying to think through this strange mixture of miseries and luxuries we encounter when trying to come to terms with the dizzying interplays of “goods” and “bads”. Capitalism is a concept that has been invented to help absorb this odd mixture of enthusiasm for the cornucopia of riches that has lifted billions of people out of abject poverty and the indignation, rage and fury in response to the miseries visited on billions of other people. Especially troubling to me is the feeling of helplessness that is associated with any discussion of economics and that I have so much trouble reconciling with what I consider science’s and politics' main effects, these being the opening of new possibilities and the provision of margins to manoeuvre.
Translations

201-:
Language: Italian
Journal: Aut-Aut http://autaut.ilsaggiatore.com/
Translator:

201-:
Laguage: Ukrainian
Journal:“СВОЄ” (“Ours”)
Translator: by Artemiy Deineka

Modes of existence, Social Theory
(133)
Waking up from 'conjecture' as well as from 'dream' — a presentation of AIME
2015

Tsantsa, numéro 20 pp.34-40 2015. (originally given as a GAD Distinguished Lecture, American Anthropology Association meeting, Chicago 21st of November 2013)

Abstract
As every ethnographer knows, in addition to the many blunders every one of us commits in the course of our fieldwork, there exist also graver mistakes when we sense a mistaken regime of reality granted to an entity. It is at those moments, usually the most revealing in the course of our inquiries, when we try to repair broken relations by some innovative move to define the status of the contrasting realities that have been open to misinterpretation. During the last quarter century I have attempted, quite systematically, to increase the number of templates by which the so-called Moderns account for themselves; not, to be sure, in their official representation (they remain staunch adepts of the OS operating system and will swear that they are obedient naturalists), but by looking for the many occasions where they express dissatisfaction with such an official view of themselves. What I think I have documented are the protestations by many different people that a skewed template is being used to account for the mode of existence of the agencies that are most attached to them.
Translations
No Other Translations Available
Anthropology, Modes of existence
(132)
Another Way to Compose the Common World - The AIME project
2013

Paper prepared for the session ‘The Ontological Turn in French Philosophical Anthropology’, An Executive Session of the AAA Annual Meeting, Chicago, November 23, 2013, in 2014 | Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 4 (1): 301–307, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau4.1.016

Abstract
If it is notably difficult to do the anthropology of those who invented the anthropology of ''others'', it is in part because they have managed to avoid doing their own. This most primitive and most aboriginal lack of reflexivity makes any sort of self-examination a skewed enterprise. This is why it is fairly useless to try to distinguish philosophy from anthropology when one wishes to find one's way through such an entangled jungle. You need anthropology - associated whenever possible with its set of ethnographic methods – to overturn philosophy’s claims that it has already reached universality; and you need philosophy – with its own set of interpretative skills – to make sure that anthropology’s claims to scientific status are not a form of provisional and provincial metaphysics. Each discipline spurs the other to restart its inquiries into the collectives that are constantly enmeshed by conquest, commerce or war.
Translations
No Other Translations Available
Anthropology, Compositionism, Modes of Existence
(131)
Telling Friends from Foes at the Time of the Anthropocene
2015

Clive Hamilton, Christophe Bonneuil & François Gemenne (editors) . The Anthropocene and the Global Environment Crisis – Rethinking Modernity in a New Epoch, London, Routledge, p.145-155 (originally given as a lecture, Thinking the Anthropocene, EHESS, Paris, 14th-15th of November, 2013)

Abstract
In spite of its pitfalls, the concept of Anthropocene offers a powerful way, if used wisely, to avoid the danger of naturalization while ensuring that the former domain of the social, or that of the “human”, is reconfigured as being the land of the Earthlings or of the Earthbound. Like Aesop’s tongue, it might deliver the worst – or worse still, much of the same; that is, the back and forth movement between, on the one hand, the “social construction of nature” and, on the other, the reductionist view of humans made of carbon and water, geological forces among other geological forces, or rather mud and dust above mud and dust. But it might also direct our attention toward the end of what Whitehead called “the Bifurcation of nature,” or the final rejection of the separation between Nature and Human that has paralyzed science and politics since the dawn of modernism. The lecture is dedicated to Clive Hamilton.
Translations

Title: Distinguindo os amigos dos inimigos na época do Antropoceno
Language: Portuguese
Journal: Etnografica
Translator: Gabriela S. Pedrosa e Paulo Mendes
Date:

Language: French
Livre:
Traducteur: Franck Lemonde

Ecology & Political Ecology