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Bruno Labour's Agency in the Time of the Anthropocene

amanda.simone's picture

Here are three main points I have discerned from Bruno Latour's Agency in the Time of the Anthropocene:

"Even though we have to continue fighting those who are in denial, I propose that we let them alone for a moment and sieze this opportunity to advance our common cosmopolitics" (4).

Objective accounts and conventional scientific writing/language are outdated. Anthropomorphism or animation, which were previously frowned upon, are not necessarly negative. It is actually how we give agency to things that we previously thought "should have none "(12).

"If the various threads of geostory could ally themselves with new sources of activity and dynamism, we would be free from the older modernist distinction between nature and society, but also from all the dialectical efforts to 'reconcile' those distinctive domains. Ecological thought has suffered just as much from attempts to 'recombine' the two artifacts of nature and society as from the older more violent history that forced the two realms - that of necessity and that of freedom - to bifurcate... Neither the extension of politics to nature, nor of nature to politics, helps in any way to move out of the impasse in which modernism has dug itself so deeply... The crucial political task is to...distribute agency as far and in as differentiated a way possible - until, that is, we gave thoroughly lost any relation between those two concepts of object and subject that are no longer of any interest any more except in a patrimonial sense" (15).

Now I am wondering, however, whether it will be possible to distribute this agency enough to end the dangerous dichotomy between society and nature. Since humans are so egocentric and desire power/control/domination, will our society even permit this redistribution of activity?