Bruno Latour's 'Anthropology of Science' in the Light of Polemics
The article presents an original research programme of science that is contained in the actor-network theory by Bruno Latour. The origins of Latour's position can be found in the tradition of sociology of scientific knowledge, but French thinker deeply radicalizes and modifies its postulates. The principle of the symmetry of David Bloor's Strong Programme of sociology of knowledge is transformed into the principle of generalized symmetry. One of the aims of this paper is to stress, on the basis of discussions and polemics, the points of disagreement between Latour and other thinkers of sociology of scientific knowledge, like: D. Bloor, H. M. Collins, S. Yearley, and S Schaffer. The selected differences between the assumptions of Latour's 'anthropology of science', philosophy of science and traditional history of science are shown as well. It is also pointed out that Latour's programme of research can be described as one of the trends of the so-called new history of science. The paper depicts only methodological postulates of Latour's standpoint. It does not analyze in detail neither all central theses of actor-network theory and all its assumptions, nor the languages in which this theory is formulated. This subject is rather extensive and therefore it could be developed in the future studies.
CEJSH db identifier