Actor Network Theory, Bruno Latour, Peter Sloterdijk, Philosophy

Sloterdijk / Latour

After finishing my Bachelor thesis on Bruno Latour this week, I started reading Peter Sloterdijk’s ‘Spheres: ‘Schäume’ today. The task that I would like to set for myself for the next few weeks is, first, to understand what this German public Kopfarbeiter is talking about and, second, try to write it down in this blog. That is: relating Sloterdijk and Latour and try to come to grips especially (and obviously) with the idea of ‘spheres ‘ and ‘networks’ with regard to space.
In my BA thesis on Latour (which was called:  ‘Zijn Wordt Worden’: de Actor Netwerk Theorie als ontologisch project, opzoek naar de realiteit in het werk van Bruno Latour’, which means, in English, ‘Being Becomes Becoming’: the ontological project of the Actor Network Theory, in search of reality within the works of Latour’) I tried to show that his relationism, which seems to lie at the heart of his thinking, is also the notion that causes problems with regard to his realism and his ontological criterion of what counts as an actor. This understanding was largely based on what Graham Harman tries to show in his Prince of Networks and some other articles. (See for instance a post by Larval Subjects on:
http://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/the-ontic-principle-the-fundamental-principle-of-any-future-object-oriented-philosophy/)

What I would like to do is to come to grips with Sloterdijk’s ‘Schäume’ by comparing it to Latour’s idea of ‘actor-networks’ and by using it to try to find a way out of pure relationism and directing it into a more ‘clothed’ direction. My vague language indicates that there are a lot of ‘blind spots’, black holes and shoe gazing moments in my understanding of Sloterdijk and, to a hopefully lesser degree, Latour.

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