June 08, 2020 |
CC BY 4.0
This paper, first published in German in Le foucaldien 4, no. 1 (2018), explores Bruno Latour's critique of contemporary critical theory. According to Latour, poststructuralist conceptions of critical inquiry are becoming increasingly outdated. In our "post-factual" era, attempting to expose facts as results of power-laden processes of social construction plays into the hands of anti-scientific obscurantists. This is not to say, however, that one ought to opt for some reductionist notion of objectivity. Instead, Latour proposes a new form of critical realism. While we agree with Latour about the necessity of widening our epistemological paradigm, we deem his critique of poststructuralism unfair and exaggerated. Moreover, we argue that he fails to account for the relationship between epistemology, power, and subjectivity. Since Foucault, on the other hand, succeeds where Latour falls short and probes into this very relationship, his is a form of critique that remains crucial to tackling the current crisis of truth.
Matthias Flatscher & Sergej Seitz: "Latour, Foucault, and Post-Truth: The Role and Function of Critique in the Era of the Truth Crisis," in: Le foucaldien, 6/1 (2020), DOI: 10.16995/lefou.83