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A Cosmopolitical Proposal: Towards a Democratic Composition of Environments
Unformatted Document Text:  38 scientist come together in composing the collective, in determining what things exist and might be able to participate in a collective and whether these things will be actively brought into the collective and its formation. These decisions of what is a friend and what is an enemy are based upon 1) whether a new thing can coexist with an already existing entity 2) whether a new thing will increase the collective’s capacities/capabilities/power 3) some normative claim. 86 Also, Latour explains how an immanent collective can direct itself, change, and learn without being negatively and stubbornly critical. In this vision of Latour’s collective, an externalized, excluded group of existents are necessarily opposed to and outside of the collective in whatever form it takes; it “feeds on what remains outside, which it has not yet collected.” 87 “The multitude of propositions [human-nonhuman assemblages/environments] that knock on the door” of the collective are, for Latour, “countless transcendences” in relation to the collective, but a radically different type of transcendence than that which is opposed to immanence. 88 The previous notion of transcendence was a unitary, incontestable, yet unknowable transcendence that aimed to solve all problems through its authoritative position. This was Nature, Reason, God, and the many other forms that self-hatred led humans to look for a power higher than them to absolve them of responsibility for their existence. Rather than this unified transcendence, the transcendence of the excluded is constantly shifting and changing, and is a relative transcendence that does not determine the existence of character of the collective (even if it threatens and may endanger it). The excluded entities, the enemies initially who possibly become appellants to the collective, shape the direction and the transformation of the collective. Instead of differences between reason and irrationality, nature and society, or might and right, “the only difference that matters now comes from the following question: Who are you capable of absorbing and 86 This remains to be expanded upon and further discussed, if not moved to a different section altogether. 87 Latour, 184. 88 For more on this, see chapter 2, “Interrogating Immanence.”

Authors: Nordquist, Michael.
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38
scientist come together in composing the collective, in determining what things exist and might
be able to participate in a collective and whether these things will be actively brought into the
collective and its formation. These decisions of what is a friend and what is an enemy are based
upon 1) whether a new thing can coexist with an already existing entity 2) whether a new thing
will increase the collective’s capacities/capabilities/power 3) some normative claim.
Also, Latour explains how an immanent collective can direct itself, change, and learn
without being negatively and stubbornly critical. In this vision of Latour’s collective, an
externalized, excluded group of existents are necessarily opposed to and outside of the collective
in whatever form it takes; it “feeds on what remains outside, which it has not yet collected.”
“The multitude of propositions [human-nonhuman assemblages/environments] that knock on the
door” of the collective are, for Latour, “countless transcendences” in relation to the collective,
but a radically different type of transcendence than that which is opposed to immanence.
The
previous notion of transcendence was a unitary, incontestable, yet unknowable transcendence
that aimed to solve all problems through its authoritative position. This was Nature, Reason,
God, and the many other forms that self-hatred led humans to look for a power higher than them
to absolve them of responsibility for their existence. Rather than this unified transcendence, the
transcendence of the excluded is constantly shifting and changing, and is a relative transcendence
that does not determine the existence of character of the collective (even if it threatens and may
endanger it). The excluded entities, the enemies initially who possibly become appellants to the
collective, shape the direction and the transformation of the collective. Instead of differences
between reason and irrationality, nature and society, or might and right, “the only difference that
matters now comes from the following question: Who are you capable of absorbing and
86
This remains to be expanded upon and further discussed, if not moved to a different section altogether.
87
Latour, 184.
88
For more on this, see chapter 2, “Interrogating Immanence.”


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