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Re: [xmca] Cautionary tales around functionality and Instrumentalism

Larry, you just substituted for "mediation" the term "means and ends." Why? You are always inserting words in [square brackets] but this time you just dropped the original question - mediation - and inserted a new one - means and ends - without notice. Do you take them as absolutely synonymous?


Larry Purss wrote:
Andy, you asked Mike a question about how he understood instrumentalism and
notions of "means and ends"

I'm choosing to start a new thread with this focus as it seems central to
the shifting curves in interpreting the relation of means to ends.

I'm not sure how others understand "actor-network theory" [I'm a newbie]
However, for those interested I'm going to attach 3 articles that circle
these topics.
The first article is the one posted by Mike [recommended by Martin]
The second article looks at "law" as an alternative way of looking at
institutional structures and asks what kind of materiality constitutes
"law". Reading this article is a way of reading Latour's ideas through a
detour. It brings in discursive and systems approaches to understanding.
The 3rd article is Latour's recent reformulation of actor-network theory
and brings in notions of composition.

Latour takes a unique standpoint on technology [the tecnical as adjectival]
that he proposes is an ONTOLOGICAL category.  Not something we HAVE and USE
but something we ARE. However as we adjust to new regimes of ENUCIATION
[expression, communication] the technical apparatuses or devices recede
into "context" [like a glove fitting the hand] and are not visible.
Technology is always disruptive and dislocating and shifts us from our
goals through DETOURS but then returns to invisibility in its ontological
Morality also ENUNCIATES DETOURS and is intimately [like a marbled veined
interweaving] implicated as a way of reflecting on how we are thrown and
shifted into emerging ontological ways of life that disrupt "the end of

Not sure if others will find these articles interesting, but they
definitely promote shifts in perspective.

They also have a unique perspective on functionalism.


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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608461459/

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