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An Inquiry into Modes of Existence

An Inquiry into Modes of Existence

An Anthropology of the Moderns

Bruno Latour

Translated by Catherine Porter

ISBN 9780674984028

Publication date: 06/04/2018

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Over the past twenty-five years, Bruno Latour has developed a research protocol different from the actor-network theory with which his name is now associated—a research protocol that follows the different types of connectors that provide specific truth conditions. These are the connectors that prompt a climate scientist challenged by a captain of industry to appeal to the institution of science, with its army of researchers and mountains of data, rather than to “capital-S Science” as a higher authority. Such modes of extension—or modes of existence, Latour argues here—account for the many differences between law, science, politics, and other domains of knowledge.

“Magnificent…An Inquiry into Modes of Existence shows that [Latour] has lost none of his astonishing fertility as a thinker, or his skill and wit as a writer…Latour’s main message—that rationality is ‘woven from more than one thread’—is intended not just for the academic seminar, but for the public square—and the public square today is global as never before.”
—Jonathan Rée, Times Literary Supplement

“Latour’s work makes the world—sorry, worlds—interesting again.”
—Stephen Muecke, Los Angeles Review of Books


  • [An Inquiry into Modes of Existence] is not just a book; it is also a project in interactive metaphysics. In other words, a book, plus website… Intrigued readers of Latour’s text can go online [] and find themselves drawn into a collaborative project. Collective collaboration—some would call it ‘crowdsourcing’—is rare in philosophy, but Latour, a sociologist and anthropologist by training, is used to collaboration with scientists… Latour’s work makes the world—sorry, worlds—interesting again. And, best of all, it is a project to which you can attach yourself.

    —Stephen Muecke, Los Angeles Review of Books


  • Bruno Latour was Professor Emeritus at Sciences Po Paris. He was the 2021 Kyoto Prize Laureate in Arts and Philosophy and was awarded the 2013 Holberg International Memorial Prize.

Book Details

  • 520 pages
  • 5-3/4 x 8-7/8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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