The Berlin Key or How to Do things with Words.

The Berlin Key or How to Do things with Words. application/pdf icon

In P.M. Graves-Brown Matter, Materiality and Modern Culture, Routledge, London pp.10-21

Inscrire dans la nature des choses ou la clef berlinoise.


A social dimension to technology ? That’s not saying much. Let us rather admit that no one has ever observed a human society that has not been built by things. A material aspect to societies ? That is still not saying enough ; things do not exist without being full of people, and the more modern and complicated they are, the more people swarm through them. A mixture of social determinations and material constraints ? That is a euphemism, for it is no longer a matter of mixing pure forms chosen from two great reservoirs, one in which would lie the social aspects of meaning or subject, the other where one would stockpile material components belonging to physics, biology, and the science of materials. A dialectic, then ? If you like.