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Book chapter

The critique of modern rationality in actor-network theory

Astakhov S.

This article explores how actor-network theory has redescribed the concept of modernity. B. Latour provides a radical critique of modern rationality by undermining its basic opposition between nature and culture. What he offers instead is relational approach to techno-science. From this point of view, all the actors are initially hybrid entities, and the ontological regime of modernity emerged as an unsuccessful attempt to purify and to divide them into clearly defined 'subjects' and 'objects'. The main paradox of modern rationality is that while it was trying to produce an illusion of two different realms (nature and culture), the number of hybrids was increasing dramatically. To tackle this problem, Latour offered a quite utopian alternative - the Parliament of Things. In the end of the article, it is stated that there is a danger for ANT of being modernist itself. And it is rejection of reductionism that distinguishes actor-network analysis from the other theories of modernity.