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in INA Global Publication date 2014-06
CITTON Yves
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Bruno Latour, anthropologue des sciences et professeur à Sciences Po Paris, a reçu une prestigieuse bourse de l’European Research Council pour mener à bien son enquête collective sur les modes d’existence (projet AIME), qui fait suite au livre paru en 2012 à La Découverte pour synthétiser plusieurs décennies de recherches et de publications : Enquête sur les modes d’existence. Une anthropologie des Modernes. Il s’efforce de distinguer une quinzaine de « modes d’existence » que les Modernes ont eu tendance à écraser sous la domination de certains usages de la science et de l’économie. (...) Les propos publiés ici portent sur le statut des médias au sein de cette cartographie de nos modes d’existence. Ils ont été recueillis lors de deux discussions séparées, entre juin 2013 et mars 2014.

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Bruno Latour is a celebrated and seminal figure in Science and Technology Studies. Yet his work, always interdisciplinary and with an eye to the ways in which disciplines cross over, doesn’t stop at the borders of the relationship between knowledge production and undoing the positivist epistemic logic that has defined modern science. His mode of inquiry, enveloped most succinctly and famously in Actor Network Theory (ANT) – a methodology that allows for a thorough exploration of the relational ties between actors of all kinds within a particular situation—has been influential for people across the humanities and arts. [First lines]

in Progetto Grafico Publication date 2013
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Un progetto collaborativo diretto da Bruno Latour costruisce un repertorio multimediale per la ricerca scientifica e filosofica, nel segno di una nuova simbiosi tra database e narrazione

in New Literary History Publication date 2014-11
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Among the many problems raised by political ecology is one of language. The distribution between what is inert object and what is made of talking subjects does not do justice to science nor to literature—nor, of course, to politics. Hence, an effort to describe a relation with agency that focuses not on their characters (humans or nonhumans, animated or deanimated) but rather on their common source. This source is recognized here—both semiotically and then ontologically—as a “metaphorphic zone.” It is just such a common articulation that could allow speaking with and about former “facts of nature” in a different way, a way better adjusted to the new political situation.

Publication date 2013-08
PORTER Catherine
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In this new book, Bruno Latour offers answers to questions raised in We Have Never Been Modern, a work that interrogated the connections between nature and culture. If not modern, he asked, what have we been, and what values should we inherit? Over the last twenty-five years, Latour has developed a research protocol different from the actor-network theory with which his name is now associated—a research protocol that follows the different types of connectors that provide specific truth conditions. These are the connectors that prompt a climate scientist challenged by a captain of industry to appeal to the institution of science, with its army of researchers and mountains of data, rather than to “capital-S Science” as a higher authority. Such modes of extension—or modes of existence, Latour argues here—account for the many differences between law, science, politics, and other domains of knowledge. Though scientific knowledge corresponds to only one of the many possible modes of existence Latour describes, an unrealistic vision of science has become the arbiter of reality and truth, seducing us into judging all values by a single standard. Latour implores us to recover other modes of existence in order to do justice to the plurality of truth conditions that Moderns have discovered throughout their history. This systematic effort of building a new philosophical anthropology presents a completely different view of what Moderns have been, and provides a new basis for opening diplomatic encounters with other societies at a time when all societies are coping with ecological crisis. (Publisher's abstract)

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Le spectre de la modernisation hante la planète. On compare les sociétés en s'interrogeant sur les avancées ou sur les reculs de ce front apparemment irréversible de modernisation. Or, chose étrange, on manque toujours d'une description anthropologique de ceux qui se désignent comme étant à l'origine de ce mouvement. Dans un précédent livre, Bruno Latour avait fait l'hypothèse que « nous n'avons jamais été modernes » : le développement des sciences et des techniques nous aurait entraînés dans une histoire d'attachements chaque jour plus intimes entre humains et non-humains. Une histoire tout à fait contraire de celle des Modernes s'émancipant toujours davantage de la nature. Pour repérer les valeurs multiples et contradictoires auxquelles tiennent ceux qui se disent Modernes, il faut accepter qu'il y ait plusieurs régimes de vérité, plusieurs types de raison, plusieurs modes d'existence dont l'enquêteur doit dresser avec soin les conditions de félicité et d'infélicité. On peut alors revisiter le coeur de notre vie collective : les sciences, les techniques, mais aussi le droit, la religion, la politique et, bien sûr, l'économie, la plus étrange et la plus ethnocentrique des productions. Et se poser autrement ces questions : Que nous est-il donc arrivé ? De quoi pouvons-nous hériter ? Qu'avons-nous en propre ? L'enjeu n'est pas mince au moment où les crises écologiques obligent toutes les sociétés à repenser ce qu'elles ont en commun. Pour avancer dans ces questions, l'auteur a mis au point un dispositif original qui s'appuie sur une enquête collective auquel le livre sert d'introduction, de rapport provisoire. Grâce à un environnement numérique monté tout exprès, les lecteurs pourront participer au recueil des expériences multiples repérées par l'enquête, avant de devenir coproducteurs des versions finales. C'est par cet exercice d'« humanités numériques » que l'auteur prétend renouveler, avec ses lecteurs, l'anthropologie philosophique des Modernes.

in Social Studies of Science Publication date 2013
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Since the project on Modes of Existence has been long in coming and has connection with all the successive field works done by the author, the paper tries to retrace the main steps that have led to the project. It shows that this project precedes the work done in actor-network theory and explains the link between philosophy and anthropology through the peculiar notion of mode of existence.

in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory Publication date 2014
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L’enquête sur les modes d’existence est une tentative pour prolonger le travail de ces anthropologues qui ont été, comme le dit Philippe Descola, « au delà de nature et culture ». Comme ce mouvement lui-même est en partie la conséquence d’une autre façon de décrire les sciences, un nouvel espace a été ouvert pour une anthropologie de la modernité qui permet d’utiliser d’autre gabarits ontologiques pour comprendre la réalité de ce que rapportent les informants. Ce sont ces connections entre « science studies », anthroplogie et modernité qui seront l’objet de cette contribution au colloquium.

in Environmental Humanities Publication date 2015
DEBAISE Didier
JENSEN Pablo
MONTEBELLO Pierre
PRIGNOT Nicolas
STENGERS Isabelle
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Translator's introduction At the end of July 2014 there was a week-long workshop held at the Ecole des Mines in Paris, Bruno Latour's former work-place. This was a final workshop, convened by Latour's project, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, which was not only a book, but a website that was an experiment in interactive metaphysics that had been going on for four years. About 30 participants gathered to workshop and rewrite some key contested areas that had been challenged on the site with discussions and counter-examples. One of the round tables working away during the week, occasionally with changes in personnel, was on Nature. Their job (like the other round tables on Politics, Diplomacy, Religion and Economics) was to ‘reboot’ or reinstitute a concept close to the heart of the Moderns. The assumption was that the traditional concept of nature, as developed through modern European history, would no longer be adequate to a future beset by environmental crises. The main people working on a draft were Didier Debaise, Pablo Jensen, Pierre Montebello, Nicolas Prignot, Isabelle Stengers and Aline Wiame. When they finished the draft, I translated it and it was presented, in French and English, in a final two-day public session at Science Po, to a group of seven international scholars designated as “chargés d'affaires,” or “diplomats from the future” whose job was to assess the results of our labours in terms of how they might be met by Gaia, the ur-representative of future planetary crises. The text, originally under the title of Our “Nature,” was as follows. [Stephen Muecke]

Publication date 2014
DE MOURAT Robin
BOULANGER Pierre Laurent
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The AIME project is an empiric philosophical inquiry grounded on Bruno Latour’s work. To fulfill its philosophical scope, AIME strives to turn some readers into co-inquirers, thus assuming a collective and collaborative dimension. To achieve this goal a context-aware argumentation platform has been set up. The platform allows readers to frame the content of the inquiry into a broader contextual network and to contribute to it. We argue that digital technologies allow to foster the collective aspect of humanities by opening and presenting the context in which a specific argument is grounded in. More specifically they allow a richer collective appropriation and discussion about contents. We then discuss the challenges and limits lying down the open-context principle

in Revue juridique de l'environnement Publication date 2014
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Guerre et paix dans une ère de conflits écologiques. Tandis que la politique a toujours un lien avec la géographie, la Terre elle-même a surtout été considérée comme une toile de fond, une simple vitrine pour le projet et l’intérêt humains. Avec l’avènement de la période dite « anthropocène », le Terre n’est plus seulement en arrière plan mais bien davantage en première ligne, en rivalité constante avec le projet humain. Pendant ce temps, l’action humaine a pris une dimension qui égale celle de la nature, d’où la transformation du géopolitique. Les appels à la nature ne semblent donc plus avoir l’effet apaisant et unificateur qu’ils avaient dans les anciens mouvements écologiques. En s’appuyant sur des études anthropologiques et philosophiques, cette étude discutera ce nouveau cadre géo-politique et montrera comment l’expansion du politique dans la nature doit modifier pour l’avenir notre vision de la guerre et de la paix.

in Visible Language Publication date 2015
DE MOURAT Robin
LECLERCQ Christophe
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Imagine a collective inquiry presenting its results before the collaboration has even started; an academic book without footnotes and references; an open, on-and-off-line platform to collaborate with peers where all must subscribe to a strict protocol to express their ideas. This is the AIME (An Inquiry into Modes of Existence) project. It is an experimental intertwining of analog and digital practices often contradicting the norms and formats they belonged to, thus creating expectations and protestations from different communities of users. Adopting a critical position toward the project, we multiplied the listening devices to collect these accusations. We propose, here, to reframe them as clues to detect the different practices and assumptions at work in collaboration-based projects, design, and Digital Humanities communities. This paper details the methodical activity of collecting clues, grouping them in specific anomalies, then explicating the choices that generated them. In a situation where Digital Humanities are still delineating their position and role in the wider academic environment, our way to study the AIME project will help reframe the role of experiments in the Digital Humanities. This study about AIME enables an understanding of some underlying assumptions and expectations in Digital Humanities.

Publication date 2012-09
LECLERCQ Christophe
GUIDO Daniele
JULLIAN DE LA FUENTE Pierre
PLIQUE Guillaume
JACOMY Alexis
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Plateforme d’enquête collective sur les modes d’existences développée pour l’ERC AIME de Bruno Latour.