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Latour’s Translation? Everything is….

I have a weakness of the critique of the critique, that is the meta-turn that applies the picture of the world presented by a philosopher to their own work. Thinking about Wittgenstein’s normatives as if they too are language games, the Willing of Nietzsche’s Willing, the epistemic standing of the Propositions of Spinoza, so on and so forth. It can be considered a cheap trick, but still a compelling one. I woke up this morning having the first 28 pages of Graham Harman’s Prince of Networks in my head, and asked myself, given the Principle of Irreducibility and that ever reduction requires and exact tracing of equivalencies, carefully documented, to the degree that I am becoming refamiliarized with Latour through Harman, I have to ask, what is it that is lost, where is the translation, when Latour reduces everything to actants and networks? For instance, is even the term “actant” traceable? What change would occur if everything became reducible to Suppliants and Networks [a touch less Nietzschean, a touch less Democratic]. The color of the concept has changed. Everything is a Suppliant…Augustine tells us that things that do not know, wish to be known. What is the “translated” standing of Latour’s reduction?

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