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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_Grossetti.htm


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