A must-read in PRAGMATA, Journal of Pragmatist Studies, 2023-6
Collective discussion on « Bruno Latour, pragmatism and politics »
Edited by Antoine Hennion.
Bruno Latour passed away late last year, and this event has contributed to significantly alter the table of contents of issue 6 of Pragmata, which was already ready for release in late 2022. The journal was planning to address the question of Latour’s relationship to pragmatism, whether it be his mentions of James’s Essays in Radical Empiricism or his work on John Dewey’s The Public and its Problems. His death crystallized this project, which met the interest of those who read and knew him and were willing to contribute to this common reflection, while agreeing to submit their texts within a very tight deadline. Antoine Hennion, a friend of Latour’s and a great connoisseur of his work, has coordinated this special thematic dossier “Bruno Latour, pragmatism and politics”, which forms the second part of this large volume of Pragmata.
The originality of this dossier is double: it proposes a fundamental rethinking of Latour from the perspective of the relationship between sociology and philosophy, of modernity, but also of politics, and makes explicit in a very diverse way the type of pragmatism at stake in these debates, which has no real equivalent in the published literature. As Antoine Hennion points out in his contribution, Latour’s link to pragmatism “is not self-evident. It is at the same time very deep and not very explicit, not strongly claimed, compared to other references” (p. 311). The symposium does not take this question for granted, but leaves it in its problematic openness, while offering some avenues to tackle the debate. To further anchor the discussions, the dossier includes two of Latour’s texts translated and commented by Daniel Cefaï, thus providing a precious source that was missing in French: Latour’s contribution to the catalog of his exhibition Making Things Public, in which part of his reappropriation of pragmatism is playing out, and excerpts from What is the Style of Matters of Concern?
This symposium “Bruno Latour, pragmatism and politics” is part of an issue of Pragmata, whose thematic dossier coordinated by Stéphane Madelrieux focuses on “The Advantage of Pragmatism”.
Pragmata, Revue d’études pragmatistes, 2023-6, 2023-6 [Available online]
Photo: “Antoine Hennion and Bruno Latour”, from Antoine Hennion, Introduction, Avertissement, Symposium “Bruno Latour, pragmatism and politics”, PRAGMATA 2023-6, 297-340.