Politics of Nature


Politics of Nature

"Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences Into Democracy" (2004, ISBN 0-674-01289-5) is an influential book by the French theorist and philosopher of science Bruno Latour. The book is an English translation by Catherine Porter of the French book, "Politiques de la nature". It is published by Harvard University Press.

In the book, Latour argues for a new and better take on political ecology that embraces his feeling that, "political ecology has nothing to do with nature". In fact, Latour argues that the idea of nature is unfair because it unfairly allows those engaged in political discourse to "short-circuit" discussions. Latour uses Plato's metaphor of "the cave" to describe the current role of nature and science in separating facts from values which is the role of politics and non-scientists. Building on the arguments leveled in his previous works, Latour argues that this distinction between facts and values is rarely useful and in many situations dangerous. He claims that it leads to a system that ignores nature's socially constructed status and creates a political order without "due process of individual will".

Instead, he calls for a "new Constitution" where different individuals can assemble democratically without the definitions of facts and values influenced by current attitudes towards nature and scientific knowledge. Latour describes an alternate set of rules by which this assembly, or collective as he calls it, might come together and be constituted. He also describes the way that entities will be allowed in or out in the future. In describing this collective, Latour draws attention to the role of the spokesperson, who must be doubted but who must speak for otherwise mute things in order to ensure that the collective involves both "humans and non-humans". This is also an important aspect of Actor-network theory (ANT) that can be found in his main sociological works.

The book includes a short summary at the end and a glossary of terms.

See also

* "Laboratory life" (with Steve Woolgar)
* "Science in action"


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nature Society (Singapore) — The Nature Society (Singapore) (abbreviated NSS) is a non government, non profit organisation centered towards the preservation and appreciation of Singapore s natural heritage, as well as that of the surrounding region. Run by volunteers, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Nature (philosophy) — Nature is a concept with two major sets of inter related meanings, referring on the one hand to the things which are natural, or subject to the normal working of laws of nature , or on the other hand to the essential properties and causes of… …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of Belgium — takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy, whereby the King of the Belgians is the Head of State and the Prime Minister of Belgium is the head of government in a multi party system.… …   Wikipedia

  • politics —    Politics has been described as ‘who gets what, when, where and how’, ‘the art of the possible’, and in less polite terms as anything to do with people scheming, manipulating or otherwise abusing or seeking power or influence over others. For… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • Politics, Religion and Her — Studio album by Sammy Kershaw Released May 7, 1996 Genre …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of Turkey — takes place in a framework of a strictly secular parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Turkey is the head of government, and of a multi party system. Turkey s political system is based on a separation of… …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of Valledupar — ( es. Politica de Valledupar) refers to the political processes in the Colombian city of Valledupar in Cesar Department. The local politics of Valledupar take places within the framework of the Politics of Colombia which are based on a… …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of Israel — takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Israel is the head of government, and of a multi party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is… …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of Bahrain — takes place in a framework of a constitutional monarchy, with an executive appointed by the king, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and a bi cameral legislature, with the Chamber of Deputies elected by universal suffrage, and the Shura Council… …   Wikipedia

  • Politics of Liberia — takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic modeled on the government of the United States, whereby the President is the head of state and head of government; unlike the United States, however, Liberia is a… …   Wikipedia