bruno latour’s philosophical sociology

I’m quite taken with what I’d call, following Daniel Chernilo, the philosophical sociology of Bruno Latour. This confuses me slightly because I’m not a fan of the actual social science that ensues. But these ideas from his dialogue with Graham Harman really speak to me:

Philosophy is not in the business of explaining. This is not at all the same thing. Philosophy is in the business of allowing the explanation to go far enough, to help the explainers to move in the explanatory trajectory but not to provide an explanation. (pg 66)

a lot of the things I call philosophical are actually about how to go places. (pg 59)

In other words, I’m like a dog following its prey, and then the prey arrives in the middle of a band of wolves which are called professional philosophers [LAUGHTER]. But I am actually following the prey. My intention was not to fall in with the wolves and to have to answer all of these guys while trying to catch my prey. (pg 40)

It’s the same with the word pragmatist. I know you don’t think Dewey is a great philosopher but I think he is a very interesting philosopher precisely because of the pragmata and “the thing,” of which you speak at the end. So if you are a pragmatist, it doesn’t mean there are a few small details that the social sciences would solve while the basic principles and foundations are provided by philosophers. I resent that because I think it’s wrong, and that’s not the way to collaborate between philosophy and social sciences. Philosophy is too important to be the foundation of the social sciences. Philosophy is the calisthenics necessary to be as subtle as the case at hand. (pg 46)