Bruno Latour

French sociologist and philosopher

Bruno Latour (22 June 1947 – 9 October 2022) was a French philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist, especially known for his work in the field of science and technology studies (STS).

Bruno Latour, 2017


  • No one knows any longer whether the reintroduction of the bear in Pyrenees, kolkhozes, aerosols, the Green Revolution, the anti-smallpox vaccine, Star Wars, the Muslim religion, partridge hunting, the French Revolution, service industries, labour unions, cold fusion, Bolshevism, relativity, Slovak nationalism, commercial sailboats, and so on, are outmoded, up to date, futuristic, atemporal, nonexistent, or permanent.
    • Bruno Latour (1973; p.74), cited in: Ronald Schleifer, Modernism and Time: The Logic of Abundance in Literature, Science, and Culture, 1880–1930. 2000. p. 174
  • What has happened to those who, like Heidegger, have tried to find their ways in immediacy, in intuition, in nature, would be too sad to retell—and is well known anyway. What is certain is that those pathmarks off the beaten track led indeed nowhere.
    • Bruno Latour, “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern” Critical Inquiry 30, (Winter 2004)
  • Philosophy is not in the business of explaining anything. Actual occasions explain what happened, not philosophy. If there is one thing which philosophy should not do, it is to try to explain anything.
    • Bruno Latour, ‎Graham Harman, ‎Peter Erdelyi. The Prince and the Wolf: Latour and Harman at the LSE. 2011. p.67
  • There is no control and no all-powerful creator, either – no more 'God' than man – but there is care, scruple, cautiousness, attention, contemplation, hesitation and revival. To understand each other, all we have is what comes from our hands, but that does not mean our hands have to be taken for the origin.
    • Bruno Latour, Rejoicing: Or the Torments of Religious Speech. 2018, p. 144

About Bruno Latour

  • It should be noted here that a research area which has grown rapidly since the 1980s is the aforementioned STS field, that is, the sociological study of technology and science. Here, western science and technology are studied as cultural products, and many of its practitioners adhere to the so-called symmetry principle proposed by the French sociologist Bruno Latour, which entails that the same terminology and the same methods of analysis should be used for failures as for successes; in other words, that what we are doing is looking at science as a social fact, not as truth or falsity. Similarly, most anthropologists would argue that our task consists of making sense of ‘the others’, not judging whether they are right or wrong.
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