• Latour is more than a little cryptic and unintelligible in this essay. His commitment to ANT makes it difficult to read any kind of political engagement into this paper; there’s no discussion of political economy or ideology in his vision of Gaia.



  • “While the older problem of science studies was to understand the active role of scientists in the construction of facts, a new problem arises: how to understand the active role of human agency not only in the construction of facts, but also in the very existence of the phenomena those facts are trying to document?” (3); The Anthropocene is then a problem both for epistemology and ontology: both in how we come to know the world and the world itself.
  • “In order to portray the first new Earth as one falling body among all the other falling bodies of the universe, Galileo had to put aside all notions of climate, agitation, and metamorphosis (apart from tides); to discover the second new Earth, climatologists are bringing the climate back in and returning the Earth to its sublunar, corrupted, and agitated condition” (3–4); Latour claims a recontraction of the Earth-concept.

Archive and Impact

  • Note that this appears in New Literary History;