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.