I wish to disagree with Latour’s Ireductions and Harmon’s discussion of it. Things are never things-in-themselves, they can always be reduced to a collection of something else. The example of the zebra Harman gives can be deconstructed in an instant: The zebras are constructed of blood, organs, parasites, bacteria, and these are composed of cells, and these are composed of DNA and that is composed of 4 different acids, and those are composed of molecules and on and on. I understand that if one focuses on these aspects, the zebra ceases to exist, but the zebra is not a hard concrete thing, it is the manifestation of a particular network, a network that repeats itself (with slight variations of course) to create millions of similar networks we call zebras. I get it.
We were asked to pose questions, so I’m going to post the question that I have asked myself at the end of each reading and each class since Thing Theory started: What do I do?
Specifically: What do I do with this new information? How do I apply it in my work? Is it possible or do I simply stick it in my back pocket with my trowel and my notebook and use it when I think it’s needed?
I don’t want to offer these questions as a critique, I am simply puzzled, because I believe in the networks that Latour and others have described, but what do I do?


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