Prince of Networks is the first treatment of Bruno Latour specifically as a philosopher. Part One covers four key works that display Latour’s underrated contributions to metaphysics: Irreductions, Science in Action, We Have Never Been Modern, and Pandora’s Hope. Harman contends that Latour is one of the central figures of contemporary philosophy, with a highly original ontology centred in four key concepts: actants, irreduction, translation, and alliance. In Part Two, Harman summarizes Latour’s most important philosophical insights, including his status as the first ‘secular occasionalist’. Working from his own ‘object-oriented’ perspective, Harman also criticizes the Latourian focus on the relational character of actors at the expense of their cryptic autonomous reality. This book forms a remarkable interface between Latour’s Actor-Network Theory and the Speculative Realism of Harman and his confederates. Harman does for Bruno Latour what Deleuze did for Foucault. Rather than a recounting of Latour’s impressive sociological analyses, Harman approaches Latour as a philosopher, offering a new realist object-oriented metaphysics capable of sustaining contemporary thought well into the next century. What ensues is a lively and productive debate between rival, yet sympathetic, orientations of object oriented philosophy between two of our most highly original, daring, and creative philosophers, giving us a text destined to have a major impact on contemporary philosophical thought.
Research Professor. Director at Learning Change Project – Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, sustainability, thinkers, ++
Giorgio Bertini does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from these papers, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
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