Inhimillistä, aivan liian inhimillistä? Foucault, Latour ja ihmistieteiden antropologinen uni

Human, All Too Human? Foucault, Latour, and the Anthropological Sleep of the Human Sciences

Michel Fou­cault's thought has been to some extent transmitted to and continued by the work of his fellow countryman Bruno Latour. However, so far their oeuvres have been scrutinized very little next to each other in the secondary literature. In this article, we explore their relation in connection with the project to re-think the established constitution of the human and social sciences. This project is discussed in detail on three points of encounter: it starts with the question of Man, which then leads into dealing with the materiality of thought, and finally into examining the articulations between the social and the material. It is shown, first, that for both Foucault and Latour, the human is always connected to its "outside" and therefore cannot be regarded as being constitutive in itself. Secondly, we argue that while both emphasize the dispersion and materiality of thought, it is only Latour's work which offers us a plausible understanding of materiality itself. Thirdly, it is claimed that while both examine the articulations of the social and the material as events produced in struggles and confrontations, the scale of their examination is different: whereas Foucault's work helps us to grasp large wholes and long historical descents, the Latourian sociology of me­diations is better equipped for studying the local assembling of networks. All in all, Foucault's and Latour's perspectives prove to be mutually complementary. That is, even though they do not necessarily stand in any immediate connection with one another, both perspectives can be of use together: where the scope of either of them is insufficient, the other is most often there to complete it.

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