Politics of Nature How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy

ISBN-10: 0674013476
ISBN-13: 9780674013476
Edition: 2004
List price: $37.00 Buy it from $14.06
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Description: A major work by one of the more innovative thinkers of our time, Politics of Nature does nothing less than establish the conceptual context for political ecology--transplanting the terms of ecology into more fertile philosophical soil than its  More...

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Book details

List price: $37.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 4/30/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

A major work by one of the more innovative thinkers of our time, Politics of Nature does nothing less than establish the conceptual context for political ecology--transplanting the terms of ecology into more fertile philosophical soil than its proponents have thus far envisioned. Bruno Latour announces his project dramatically: "Political ecology has nothing whatsoever to do with nature, this jumble of Greek philosophy, French Cartesianism and American parks." Nature, he asserts, far from being an obvious domain of reality, is a way of assembling political order without due process. Thus, his book proposes an end to the old dichotomy between nature and society--and the constitution, in its place, of a collective, a community incorporating humans and nonhumans and building on the experiences of the sciences as they are actually practiced. In a critique of the distinction between fact and value, Latour suggests a redescription of the type of political philosophy implicated in such a "commonsense" division--which here reveals itself as distinctly uncommonsensical and in fact fatal to democracy and to a healthy development of the sciences. Moving beyond the modernist institutions of "mononaturalism" and "multiculturalism," Latour develops the idea of "multinaturalism," a complex collectivity determined not by outside experts claiming absolute reason but by "diplomats" who are flexible and open to experimentation.

Bruno Latour is Professor and Vice-President for Research at the Sciences Po, Paris.

Introduction: What Is to Be Done with Political Ecology?
Why Political Ecology Has to Let Go of Nature
First, Get Out of the Cave
Ecological Crisis or Crisis of Objectivity?
The End of Nature
The Pitfall of "Social Representations" of Nature
The Fragile Aid of Comparative Anthropology
What Successor for the Bicameral Collective?
How to Bring the Collective Together
Difficulties in Convoking the Collective
First Division: Learning to Be Circumspect with Spokespersons
Second Division: Associations of Humans and Nonhumans
Third Division between Humans and Nonhumans: Reality and Recalcitrance
A More or Less Articulated Collective
The Return to Civil Peace
A New Separation of Powers
Some Disadvantages of the Concepts of Fact and Value
The Power to Take into Account and the Power to Put in Order
The Collective's Two Powers of Representation
Verifying That the Essential Guarantees Have Been Maintained
A New Exteriority
Skills for the Collective
The Third Nature and the Quarrel between the Two "Eco" Sciences
Contribution of the Professions to the Procedures of the Houses
The Work of the Houses
The Common Dwelling, the Oikos
Exploring Common Worlds
Time's Two Arrows
The Learning Curve
The Third Power and the Question of the State
The Exercise of Diplomacy
War and Peace for the Sciences
Conclusion: What Is to Be Done? Political Ecology!
Summary of the Argument (for Readers in a Hurry...)
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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