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Hello all,

For those who discover lately so-called "actor-network theory (ANT)" (which
is not a theory but a language, so I call it ANL and not ANT...), may I
suggest that after reading the excellent and generous paper of Michel you
could look at an older one and more critical I did in 1995 on actor-network:

http://www.chss.uqam.ca/Portals/0/docs/articles/Following.PDF


Yves Gingras



Le 18/04/08 08:33, « Michel Grossetti » <[log in to unmask]> a écrit :

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> 
> Dear humans,
> 
> For those who can read french texts, I wrote a short article on the limits
> of the generalized symetry of B. Latour :
> http://sociologies.revues.org/document712.html
> 
> Michel Grossetti
> 
> 
> A 12:24 18/04/2008 +0100, [log in to unmask] a écrit :
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>> 
>> Dear Loet and colleagues,
>> 
>> I agree entirely with the distinction between human and non-human
>> actors, and the extension to it that non-human actors (trees...) engage
>> human subjectivity / intersubjectivity. I am even prepared to accept
>> that living things (trees ... dogs) interact with human actors with
>> energy waves, patterns and links - so what we 'see' and interpret in a
>> tree is beyond the physical presence of this tree.
>> 
>> I believe, only a distinction between different categories of actors can
>> enable us to explain (theoretically) the process of interaction of the
>> Dutch Princess with the trees, the meaning and impact of this
>> interaction to her, and to the rest of the society. More distinctions
>> and more precise categories we use in our analysis and interpretation
>> will enable us even to disentangle the Latourean concept of
>> actor-networks - which puts huge emphasis on the context and the 'stage'
>> where the interaction takes place. In this sense - all non-human actors
>> are 'brought' by the analyst to the stage - which is a purely social
>> construction.
>> 
>> I am really interested to see efforts for  formalisation of this
>> context, in which networks emerge and in which we analyse networks. I
>> think we can assume that this context is entirely 'social' - as it is
>> our context.
>> 
>> 
>> Emanuela Todeva
>> 
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>> Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
>> Sent: 18 April 2008 09:45
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: German shepherd and social networks
>> 
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>> 
>>> I have tried to make a contribution to this line of argumentation in
>>> my book on 'business networks: strategy and structure', but Loet's
>>> suggestion to look at actor-network theory as a starting point (and
>>> perhaps to embrace some of their conceptual apparatus) is very
>>> relevant.
>> 
>> Dear Emanuela and colleagues,
>> 
>> In the Netherlands, we have a princess of the royal family who claims to
>> talk to the trees. The trees seem to tell her and each other interesting
>> stories. :-)
>> 
>> Let us distinguish various options:
>> 
>> 1. As an analyst, one can make a clear distinction between human and
>> non-human communication in terms of intentionality and
>> meaning-processing following the sociological tradition (Mead, Husserl,
>> Schutz, Berger & Luckman, Luhmann).
>> 
>> 2. From this perspective, the non-human elements can impact on the
>> inter-human communication (e.g., object (libidonous) relations; symbolic
>> value of objects).
>> 
>> 3. One can follow Latour and deny a difference between human and
>> non-human actants. The specifically human condition of communication
>> (intentionality) is then not considered relevant  and the social network
>> analysis would not be different from other (e.g., biological) network
>> analysis. 
>> 
>> In my opinion, the latter approach confuses the formal approach (which
>> abstracts from substance in the relations) with an encompassing approach
>> which claims heterogenous substance without specifying this
>> heterogeneity.
>> The more formalized approach enables us to use concepts at one level
>> heuristically at another. For example, one can raise the question of
>> what could one win theoretically by assuming that the trees would tell
>> each other stories?
>> 
>> With best wishes,
>> 
>> 
>> Loet
>> 
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> 
> Michel Grossetti
> LISST(UMR CNRS 5193)
> Université de Toulouse le Mirail
> 5, allées Antonio Machado
> 31058 Toulouse Cedex 9
> tel : 33 (0)5 61 50 36 69
> fax : 33 (0)5 61 50 38 70
> Email : [log in to unmask]
> web : 
> http://www.univ-tlse2.fr/cers/annuaires/fiches_indivi/permanents/Michel_Grosse
> tti.htm
> 
> 
> _____________________________________________________________________
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> 

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