Bruno Latour, thinker of the “new climate regime”, is dead

The sociologist, anthropologist and philosopher Bruno Latour died in the night between Saturday 8 October and Sunday 9 October at the age of 75, learned The world from familiar sources and La Découverte editions. He is one of the most important French intellectuals of his generation, who passed away after a long fight against the disease. “The most famous and misunderstood of the French philosophers”, had written the New York Times25 October 2018.

Famous and celebrated abroad, winner of the Holberg Prize (2013) and the Kyoto Prize (2021) for all his work, Bruno Latour was, in fact, for a time misunderstood in France, as his research objects seemed disparate , which could hide a great deal of consistency. It must be said that he has touched almost all areas of knowledge: ecology, law, modernity, religion and, of course, science and technology, with his inaugural and explosive studies on laboratory life. . Especially since, with the notable exception of Michel Serres, with whom Bruno Latour drew a book of interviews, Clarifications (Francois Bourin, 1992), philosophy in France has often drifted away from the thought and practice of science.

Read also the interview: Article reserved for our members Bruno Latour: “Ecology is the new class struggle”

“He was the first to perceive that the challenge of political thought lay entirely in the ecological question”recalls the sociologist Bruno Karsenti, as evidenced, already in 1999, by the publication of Policies of nature (La Découverte), written in consonance with The natural contract by Michel Serres (1990). But these are undoubtedly two books devoted to ecology, delivered in the form of questions, Where to land? (The discovery, 2017) e Where am I ? (La Découverte, 2021), which made this iconoclastic sociologist better known to the general public.

Born on June 22, 1947 in Beaune (Côte-d’Or), into a large bourgeois family of wine merchants, he became one of the most influential philosophers of our time, inspiring a new generation of intellectuals, artists and activists concerned with remedying the ecological disaster.

Read also: Article reserved for our members At the origins of the ecological disaster

From “The intrusion of Gaia”as the philosopher Isabelle Stengers writes, with whom he entertained a long intellectual friendship (told by Philippe Pignarre in Latour-Stengers, an intricate double flightThe Preventers from Thinking in Circles, 2021), Bruno Latour has never stopped thinking “New climate regime” we live in (In front of Gaia, Discovery, 2015). Because “We changed the world”he explained, since we entered the Anthropocene era, in which man becomes a geological force. “We no longer live on the same Earth”, he assured. The Moderns believed, from the seventeenthAnd century, that the separation between nature and culture, between objects and subjects, was effective. They claimed that “non-humans” were foreign to us, yet they continued to come to terms with them. It is in this sense that “We have never been modern”as he proclaimed in a book of the same name (La Découverte, 1991).

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