Donna Haraway: How Like a Leaf: An Interview with Thyrza Nichols Goodeve (1999)

5 October 2015, dusan

A lengthy interview-conversation that covers aspects of both Haraway’s life and work.

Publisher Routledge, 1999
ISBN 0415924022, 9780415924023
197 pages

Reviews: Tony Scott (Kairos, 2000), Erika Bourguignon (NWSA Journal, 2001).
Commentary: McKenzie Wark (Public Seminar, 2015).


PDF (2 MB, updated on 2018-5-11)

Common Knowledge 17(1): Comparative Relativism: Symposium on an Impossibility, I-IV (2011)

6 March 2015, dusan

A journal section based on the conference “Comparative Relativism” held in September 2009 at the IT University of Copenhagen.

The aim of this publication “is to place in unlikely conjunction the two terms ‘comparison’ and ‘relativism’. On the one hand, comparison, in the most general sense, involves the investigation of discrete contexts to elucidate their similarities and differences. Comparative methods have been widely used in many social science disciplines, including history, linguistics, sociology, and anthropology. On the other hand, relativism, as a tendency, stance, or working method in social anthropology, and more recently in science and technology studies (STS), usually involves the assumption that contexts exhibit, or may exhibit, radically different, incomparable, or incommensurable traits.”

Based on this paradoxical premise, “comparative relativism is understood by some to imply that relativism comes in various kinds and that these have multiple uses, functions, and effects, varying widely in different personal, historical, and institutional contexts; moreover, that those contexts can be compared and contrasted to good purpose…On the other hand, comparative relativism is taken by other[s] to imply and encourage a ‘comparison of comparisons’, in order to relativize what different peoples—say, Western academics and Amerindian shamans—compare things “for’.” (from the Introduction)

“In other words, comparative relativism can ask both what knowledge or truth is being imagined relative to and whether comparison always operates in the “same” way—or with the same grounds or purposes (e.g., shoring up the categories of culture, nature, morality) wherever we find it.” (from Helmreich 2012)

With contributions by Casper Bruun Jensen, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, G. E. R. Lloyd, Martin Holbraad, Andreas Roepstorff, Isabelle Stengers, Helen Verran, Steven D. Brown, Brit Ross Winthereik, Marilyn Strathern, Bruce Kapferer, Annemarie Mol, Morten Axel Pedersen, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Matei Candea, Debbora Battaglia, and Roy Wagner.

Publisher Duke University Press, Winter 2011
ISBN 0961-754x
165 pages


PDF (4 MB)

See also
Casper Bruun Jensen, Bifurcations: Comparative Relativism, Conexões Parciais, 2012, 21 pp.
Stefan Helmreich, Extraterrestrial Relativism, Anthropological Quarterly, 2012, 15 pp.

Isabelle Stengers: The Invention of Modern Science (1993–) [EN, PT]

25 March 2014, dusan

The so-called exact sciences have always claimed to be different from other forms of knowledge. How are we to evaluate this assertion? Should we try to identify the criteria that seem to justify it? Or, following the new model of the social study of the sciences, should we view it as a simple belief? The Invention of Modern Science proposes a fruitful way of going beyond these apparently irreconcilable positions, that science is either “objective” or “socially constructed.” Instead, suggests Isabelle Stengers, one of the most important and influential philosophers of science in Europe, we might understand the tension between scientific objectivity and belief as a necessary part of science, central to the practices invented and reinvented by scientists.

First published in French as L’Invention des sciences modernes, La Découverte, Paris, 1993.

English edition
Translated by Daniel W. Smith
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2000
Theory Out of Bounds series, 19
ISBN 0816630569, 9780816630561
185 pages

Review (Robert Evans, Contemporary Sociology, 2002)
Commentary (Stephen Shaviro, 2004)

Publisher (EN)
Google books (EN)

The Invention of Modern Science (English, trans. Daniel W. Smith, 2000)
A invenção das ciências modernas (Portuguese, trans. Max Altman, 2002)