HOW TO READ LATOUR: Polytheism of Values

I fully support this- and it reminds me of tactical reading ala de Certeau, as well as the ways in which Deleuze’s concepts change names but continue to function in a similar way. Straight reading misses the nuances of the explication… better to make a map, not a tracing.

AGENT SWARM

Philip Conway has set the reading and discussion of Latour’s AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE off to a fine start. For the moment the discussion has centered on a certain vagueness and conceptual tension in Latour’s use of the term “Moderns”, and of what role his appeal to a notion of “values” plays in his project: preliminary survey to open up the field of inquiry or rhetorical reduction to serve the purposes of his own agenda. The question is thus posed of how we may best read this book, and Latour’s work in general.

Style and vocabulary are important to Latour’s message, as are argumentative and rhetorical strategy. This implies that we do not read Latour through the literalism and the narrow rationalism of “double-click” spectacles. Double-click is the name for a mode (of discourse and of existence) that reduces existence to information treated as unmediated and transparent access…

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