A Latourian analysis of wonder and truth values in scientific practice


Arthur Petersen


In Bruno Latour’s anthropology of the moderns (“An Inquiry into Modes of Existence”, 2013 [2012]) no less than 15 values with associated truth (or ‘felicity’) conditions are distinguished which all play a normative role in modern-day practices. Scientific practice is typically mainly concerned with the value of ‘reference’, with as truth condition that chains of reference bring back information. However, other values simultaneously play out in scientific practice. I will present a Latourian analysis of the phenomenon of ‘wonder’ vis-à-vis uncertainty and ignorance, with references to Immanuel Kant (his “Critique of the Power of Judgment”), William James and Heinrich Rickert.