Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Clear Cups: Making the Rhetoric Visible

In Science in Action, Latour makes the rhetoric of science visible, like Penn & Teller make the rhetoric of magic visible. The formation of "facts" in Latour's revealing treatment does not make science any less interesting, to the contrary, it encourages a fascination with the process of knowledge-making. (Just as "magic" becomes no less fascinating when Penn & Teller do the cups and balls trick with clear cups.)

If one views these resulting scientific "facts" as sausage, and science as sausage-making, Latour's work might be considered "bad," and Latour considered the Upton Sinclair of the Rhetorics of Science.

If one views the work of Latour as revelatory/apocalyptic, and sees the resulting understanding of "scientific knowledge" as new knowledge itself, then surely, Latour is the Penn & Teller of the Rhetorics of Science.


Penn & Teller's Cup And Balls Routine - A funny movie is a click away

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