Steve Fuller: ‘Bruno Latour and Some Notes on Some Also Rans’ (December 13th).
Who is my best fiend? S/he is someone who has got the right facts mostly right but draws exactly the wrong normative conclusion – or at least gestures in the wrong way. In my own career, Kuhn and Latour fit that description. These are two ‘Zeitgeisty’ figures – i.e. future historians will understand their disproportionate significance in terms of their eras, the Cold War order and the neo-liberal post-Cold War order, respectively. But if you want to think ahead of the curve – perhaps because you believe that there is some larger ‘truth’ that humanity is trying to grasp – then you will want to ask how can these very smart people can be both so persuasive and so wrong. (I recommend this as a strategy for younger scholars who plan to be alive beyond the year 2050.) Of course, I have been beset by other fiends in my career, but they are much less interesting because they are simply slaves to fashion/induction, taking their marching orders from high scientific authorities. (And here I mean to include just about anyone who has reacted violently to my support for intelligent design.) I’ll say something about them, if only because of their entertainment value.
Recordings (to be downloaded; these are not designed to stream)
Thanks to the ANTHEM Blog I saw this today and I feel sad that I was not able to be in London in December. Although the basic point Fuller makes sounds familiar, I remember reading it in Putnam´c comment on Rorty, it is a valid point. And Fuller is – although a bit strange – always an entertaining guy to listen to.