My contribution to the reading group on Latour’s AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE can be found here: a summary of chapter 7 (“Reinstituting the Beings of Metamorphosis”) plus commentary. This is Latour’s account of the fabrication of psyches, and includes a phenomenology of emotion. I compare this with ALL THINGS SHINING and with James Hillman’s psychology of “soul-making”. Deleuze’s notion of the “production of subjectivity” is also mentioned.
Author: Terence Blake
The movement of deconstruction of the split between subject and object allied to the pluralisation of ontologies continues. We must now apply this ontological pluralism to the irrational superstitions that are thought to characterise traditional societies. Modernity has been constituted in terms of a battle against the superstitious belief in invisible beings and occult powers. The previous chapters have shown that the Moderns are mistaken about the nature and composition of the visible world. For Latour there is no “visible world”, the very idea is the result of a category mistake. A suspicious symptom from our history is the overwhelming violence that has accompanied the spread of Reason in the world, a sign that we are anxious and frightened about what we nonetheless assert to be devoid of existence.
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