For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"The Symmetry Between Bruno Latour and Martin Heidegger: The Technique of Turning a Police Officer into a Speed Bump"

by Riis, Søren (2008)


In spite of Bruno Latour's explicit critique of Martin Heidegger's conception of technology, he and Heidegger implicitly think very similarly. When looked at carefully, Latour's examination of technical mediation stands out as a detailed reflection of Heidegger's studies. In Pandora's Hope, Latour (1999) dedicates a whole essay to exposing Heidegger's misconception of technology. 1 However, at the end of this polemic, Latour in fact unfolds and actualizes Heidegger's argument. What Latour considers fictitious, antiquated and pessimistic in Heidegger's writings on technology comes alive in a different and more accessible way in his own writings. This profound and previously unrevealed relationship between Latour and Heidegger makes it possible to reinterprete the ideas of both in a way that has crucial importance for Science and Technology Studies (STS). In order to carry out this kind of comparative philosophy or `theoretical fieldwork', one has to pay close attention to their basic conceptions and not be led astray by different ways of naming them.


Heidegger, Latour, Technology


Technology, On Heidegger

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