While it is not unusual to speak of “early” and “late” phases in a philosopher’s career, Bruno Latour is perhaps unique in having gone through both phases simultaneously. Beginning in 1987, Latour worked in secret on a new philosophical system parallel to his publicly known actor-network-theory. First unveiled to a select group of readers at a summer symposium in Cerisy-la-Salle in 2007, his new system was finally published in French in 2012, and will appear in English in 2013 as An Inquiry into Modes of Existence. Whereas networks once lay alone at the core of Latour’s system, they now appear as just one of fourteen modes of existence, historically generated and culturally limited. And just as Alfred North Whitehead was the chief philosophical guide for the early Latour, the later system relies heavily on the French thinker Étienne Souriau (1892-1979), mostly forgotten outside film theory and the Balkan nations. In this book Graham Harman, author of Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics (re.press: 2009), guides us through the fresh metaphysical issues raised by Latour while wearing his new costume as Prince of Modes.
About the Author
Graham Harman is Distinguished University Professor at the American University in Cairo. His previous books include Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics (2009) Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (2002), Guerrilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things (2005), and Heidegger Explained: From Phenomenon to Thing (2007). He has also taught at DePaul University in Chicago and the University of Amsterdam.