Latour’s vocabulary

Bruno Latour changes his vocabulary and framework in every book. This is both irritating and valuable. It is irritating because there is too little continuity and much conceptual sprawl. Each book feels slightly out of control, and his corpus feels like a series of accelerations without momentum. But it is valuable because behind his attempts to capture his insights in words is a tacit metaphysic, from which his theories proceed. The theories must not be confused with the metaphysic, and his failures to truly nail it make the impossibility of nailing such truths evident. In this Latour is like Nietzsche. Both thinkers are mercurial in the most literal way imaginable.

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