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Actor–Network Theory: Bruno Latour

Actor–network theory (ANT) is an approach that attempts to capture the complexity of the social world by tracking the relations among human and nonhuman actors (which might be other living things, objects such as machines, or ideas); it examines how scientific knowledge arises through the interactions between scientists and researchers and the social and the natural contexts on which they act. It is most closely associated with the French thinker Bruno Latour. It has its roots in the sociological study of science, but in taking in other objects of study (including politics, law, technology, and religion), it has developed into a philosophical enquiry into our “modes of existence” that poses considerable metaphysical challenges to conventional accounts of our world.

From one perspective, Latour’s project is ...

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