Saturday, September 1, 2012

Some Latour Litanies from Feyerabend

I’ve been reading around in Feyerabend’s last and unfinished book, The Conquest of Abundance: A Tale of Abstraction versus the Richness of Being (U. of Chicago Press, 1999). Here’s a few Latour Litanies I’ve found.

Rather than start at the beginning, that’s next, let’s leap to the beginning of Chapter 3, Parmenides and the Logic of Being, pp. 60-61 (only the first sentence is a LL, but I tacked on the other for good measure):
According to Parmenides the most basic entity underlying everything there is, including Gods, fleas, dogs, and any hypothetical substance one might propose, is Being. This was in a sense a very trivial but also a rather shrewd suggestion, for Being is the place where logic and existence meet: every statement involving the word “is” is also a statement about the essence of things.
Here’s the opening of the Introduction, p. 3:
The world we inhabit is abundant beyond our wildest imagination. There are trees, dreams, sunrises; there are thunderstorms, shadows, rivers; there are wars, flea bites, love affairs; there are the lives of people, Gods, entire galaxies.
Going on, p. 4 (middle sentence of three):
Indeed, there exist situation that endanger human life and that have to be dealt with. Bacteria, viruses, ferocious animals, illnesses of all sorts, adverse geological and meterological conditions, are examples.
p. 9:
Almost everybody admits that there are dreams, stones, sunrises, rainbows, fleas, murders, errors—and many other things.
What’s up with fleas?

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