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Chris, it would have been helpful if you provided a definition of what Latour meant by "external nature" which I take to mean discoverable physical reality of which humans are a part.

I asked ChatGPT:

Bruno Latour, a French philosopher, sociologist, and anthropologist, is known for his work in the fields of science and technology studies (STS) and his influential ideas on the relationship between humans and the natural world. Latour's perspective on the concept of "external nature" is deeply intertwined with his broader philosophical and sociological framework, which challenges traditional distinctions between nature and society. His work often blurs the boundaries between what is considered natural and what is considered social or human-made.

Latour argues that the traditional notion of "external nature" as something separate from human society is a misleading and problematic concept. He contends that humans are not passive observers of an external, pre-existing natural world but active participants in shaping and constructing what we understand as nature. In his view, nature is not something "out there" that is independent of human influence but is, instead, a product of human interactions, beliefs, and practices.

Latour's perspective is often associated with his concept of "hybridity" or "hybrid collectives." He suggests that humans and non-human entities (such as technology, animals, and natural elements) are interwoven in complex networks or collectives. These networks include both human and non-human actors, and they shape our understanding of reality.

In essence, Latour challenges the idea that there is a clear and distinct boundary between the natural world and human society. He argues that we should approach the study of nature and society as intertwined and co-constitutive, rather than as separate realms. This perspective has had a significant impact on fields such as environmental studies, sociology, and anthropology, as it encourages a more holistic and relational approach to understanding the complex interactions between humans and the environment.

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