Saturday, June 18, 2022

Bruno Latour's reaction to climate denialism (a 2018 article)

A 2018 feature in the New York Times Magazine:

As early as 2004 he [Bruno Latour] publicly expressed the fear that his critical “weapons,” or at least a grotesque caricature of them, were being “smuggled” to the other side, as corporate-funded climate skeptics used arguments about the constructed nature of knowledge to sow doubt around the scientific consensus on climate change.

But Latour believes that if the climate skeptics and other junk scientists have made anything clear, it’s that the traditional image of facts was never sustainable to begin with. “The way I see it, I was doing the same thing and saying the same thing,” he told me, removing his glasses. “Then the situation changed.” If anything, our current post-truth moment is less a product of Latour’s ideas than a validation of them. In the way that a person notices her body only once something goes wrong with it, we are becoming conscious of the role that Latourian networks play in producing and sustaining knowledge only now that those networks are under assault.

— Ava Kofman. "Bruno Latour, the Post-Truth Philosopher, Mounts a Defense of Science." New York Times. October 25, 2018. (This is a gift link from my paid subscription that gets you around the paywall.)

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