By Isabelle Stengers, Robert Bononno
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Extra resources for Cosmopolitics I
They are the ingredients of its identity, that is, the way in which it exists for others and the way in which it situates others. 5 Culturing the Pharmakon? There are certain questions that, while they have resonance throughout the histoiy of philosophy, assume particular significance in a given period. The question posed by the sophists is one of them and I want to address it explicitly, to prevent any possible misunderstanding. The historical sophists were treated with opprobrium by philosophers, and were referred to as the philosopher's other: they were the ones who bartered the truth, who claimed to heal the city's woes without first obtaining knowledge of good and evil, who exploited the shadows and appearances of the "cave" rather than seeking the veridical light that reveals things in their proper guise.
Ft I II h N E U T R I N O ' S P A R A D O X I C A L M O D E OF EXISTENCE To follow Latour in calling "factishes" those beings we fabricate and that fabricate us, from which the scientist (or the technician, via different modes) "receives autonomy by giving [them] an autonomy he does not have," 6 does not confer upon them any identity other than the fully developed identity they get in physics. That is why it is important to speak of factishes and not fetishes, for 1 am not trying to establish a general theory of fetishes, which would never be more than the pseudopositive counterpart of their general condemnation.
In fact, there is hardly an ecological situation on Earth where the values attributed by humans to different "products" of nature haven't already contributed to the construction of relationships among nonhuman living beings. The only singularity of political ecology is to explicitly assert, as a problem, the inseparable relation between values and the construction of relationships within a world that can always already be deciphered in terms of values and relations. Which both changes nothing and changes everything, as is the case whenever what was implicit becomes explicit.
Cosmopolitics I by Isabelle Stengers, Robert Bononno