Category Archives: Epistemology

Chapter 8: Making the Beings of Technology Visible

Author: Philip Conway

So, after something of a hiatus (geddit?) the AIME reading group is back!

Before I get on to chapter 8, ‘Making the beings of technology visible,’ I’ll just mention some resources that could help with the previous chapter on [met]amorphosis. A very difficult chapter, not especially well written, in my view, but important for understanding [tec]. I think I have a grip on it now after having read up (a little bit) on Tobie Nathan’s practice of ethnopsychiatry. All the talk of psyches, spirits and metamorphoses is based on Latour’s encounter with Nathan’s work; in order to understand ch.7 I’d say it’s pretty much essential to have at least a vague understanding of his practice. To that end (and in English) there’s a short summary of ethnopsychiatry by Nathan himself here; a really interesting paper on the kinds of spirits, Djinns, he has to deal with in his practice here and a nice blog summary of one of his books hereContinue reading

Chapter 6: Correcting a Slight Defect in Construction

Author: Josh Brahinsky

Why the gap between practice and theory? “Why is it so hard to follow experience?” In other words, why do Moderns doubt the referential and reproductive mediations of practice? Simple answer – we confuse our modes.

Construction is hard to imagine positively. Or, at least, in the world of fact, construction outlines the cracks.  The cracks in time Latour calls reproduction, cracks in contact, reference. Latour recognizes the challenge in the name, the word construction, so devoid of philosophical warmth that even naked, without social, its baggage has him revising as composition and now instauration.  For construction is both a sign of ignorance (not-knowledge) and has lost some of its density.  However, for Latour, construction suggests a doubled action (doubled author), uncertain direction (co-constituted trajectories between authors), and a qualitative judgment regarding construction.  Or at least it ought to, he says. Since we have denuded it of these connotations, and have forever tied it to “weak” knowing rather than “strong” being-becoming, Latour offers a new term. Perhaps, he hopes, instaurators instigate, reciprocally, without certainty, always concerned with quality?  Further, it is a concept that invites, and requires, certain respect for the resources, perhaps agency, of the beings that co-participate in this new version of construction.  You/I/We must “encounter beings capable of worrying you… articulable beings… beings that have their own resources.”   Neither raw material nor creative imagination, only grasped successfully in their own interpretive key. Continue reading

An Introduction to AIME