Bruno Latour, Deleuze, Gabriel Tarde, Monadology, Nigel Thrift, Non-Representational Theory

Digital monads? Bruno Latour on the development of a Tardean social theory

Bruno Latour – The Whole is Always Smaller Than Its Parts. A Digital Test of Gabriel Tarde’s Monads

This article by Bruno Latour explores the value of Gabriel Tarde’s concept of monads for data digitalization – a method that can accordingly be seen as an experimental sociological tool. At the same time, it argues that the new possibilities and experience of following individuals through their connections can redefine neo-monadology as a navigational ontology. It is remarkable that the authors do not take up Nigel Thrift’s notion of nomads as an updated and relational version of traditional ‘windowless’ monads – a notion that he develops in his great Non-Representational Theory. This conceptualization would also allow for a more direct assessment of the Tardean influence in Deleuze’s social theory, an influence that is well worth elaborating from the perspective of statistics and quantification.

Gabriel Tarde, Ian Hacking, Object Oriented Ontology, Philosophy

Making Up People

Ian Hacking is well known for his studies on ‘the reality of kinds’; to be sure, given the recent interest in both Tarde and Speculative Realism his ideas seem to be of considerable interest. With regard to Tarde (although not explictly) Hacking can be said to have conceptualized the constructedness and reality of quantification – that is, for instance, statistics and categorizations. His book Historical Ontology in fact should be a must-read for Speculative Realists interested in working towards something called a ‘social ontology’.

Here you can find an interesting article by Ian Hacking, written in 2007, in the LRB.