We Have Never Been Modern

By | June 21, 2017
We Have Never Been Modern Author Bruno Latour
ISBN-10 0674948394
ISBN-13 9780674948396
Year 1993-10-15
Pages 168
Language English
Publisher Harvard University Press
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With the rise of science we moderns believe the world changed irrevocably separating us forever from our primitive premodern ancestors But if we were to let go of this fond conviction Bruno Latour asks what would the world look like His book an anthropology of science shows us how much of modernity is actually a matter of faith What does it mean to be modern What difference does the scientific method make The difference Latour explains is in our careful distinctions between nature and society between human and thing distinctions that our benighted ancestors in their world of alchemy astrology and phrenology never made But alongside this purifying practice that defines modernity there exists another seemingly contrary one the construction of systems that mix politics science technology and nature The ozone debate is such a hybrid in Latours analysis as are global warming deforestation even the idea of black holes As these hybrids proliferate the prospect of keeping nature and culture in their separate mental chambers becomes overwhelmingand rather than try Latour suggests we should rethink our distinctions rethink the definition and constitution of modernity itself His book offers a new explanation of science that finally recognizes the connections between nature and cultureand so between our culture and others past and present Nothing short of a reworking of our mental landscape We Have Never Been Modern blurs the boundaries among science the humanities and the social sciences to enhance understanding on all sides A summation of the work of one of the most influential and provocative interpreters of science it aims at saving what is good and valuable in modernity and replacing the rest with a broader fairer and finer sense of possibility

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