Purpose: To show the convergences between Josef Mitterer’s non-dualizing way of speaking and actor-network theory. Method: Comparative analysis of Mitterer’s non-dualizing philosophy and actor-network philosophy. Findings: Profound convergences between the two accounts may lead to a unified account that could redefine traditional philosophical problems. Benefits: The paper extends the range of Mitterer’s non-dualizing philosophy and actor-network theory enabling both to face new problems. Among them, extended non-dualizing philosophy may undergo empirical investigations.
Purpose: The text searches for possible uses of a daring postulate to reject dualism, formulated by Josef Mitterer. Furthermore, it explores the inconsistencies of dualism and its remnants in three projects: Richard Rorty’s neopragmatism, the strong program of the sociology of knowledge, and radical constructivism. The final aim of the argument is to demonstrate that a very interesting incorporation of Mitterer’s postulates is possible, and that it must take the form of a consistent antiessentialism. At this point the article presents Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory. Findings: The article underlines the specific role of the so-called other side of the discourse – which, according to Mitterer is fabricated by the dualizing mode of speaking. Such an instance is a priori essentialized and it plays a crucial role as a tool for settling arguments. The text traces the role of this instance in the concepts mentioned above. Benefits: Through the use of Latour’s constructivism, the text indicates that there exists a fruitful empirical (non-speculative) research program, which was projected in accordance with Mitterer’s postulates.
From a rural, sociological point of view no social theories have so far been able to grasp the ontological complexity and special character of a farm enterprise as an entity in a really satisfying way. The contention of this paper is that a combination of Luhmann’s theory of social systems and the actor-network theory (ANT) of Latour, Callon, and Law offers a new and radical framework for understanding a farm as a self-organizing, heterogeneous system. Luhmann’s theory offers an approach to understand a farm as a self-organizing system (operating in meaning) that must produce and reproduce itself through demarcation from the surrounding world by selection of meaning. The meaning of the system is expressed through the goals, values, and logic of the farming processes. This theory is, however, less useful when studying the heterogeneous character of a farm as a mixture of biology, sociology, technology, and economy. ANT offers an approach to focus on the heterogeneous network of interactions of human and non-human actors, such as knowledge, technology, money, farmland, animals, plants, etcetera, and how these interactions depend on both the quality of the actors and the network context of interaction. But the theory is weak when it comes to explaining the self-organizing character of a farm enterprise. Using Peirce’s general semiotics as a platform, the two theories in combination open a new and radical framework for multidisciplinary studies of farm enterprises that may serve as a platform for communication between the different disciplines and approaches.
In two books the Austrian philosopher Josef Mitterer has developed a non-dualistic alternative to both realistic and idealistic positions. It dispenses with the categorical distinction between description and reality beyond description. In “The Third Philosophy,” scientists from the fields of philosophy, psychology, sociology, art history, media and communication studies and political science explore the potential of Mitterer’s criticism of dualistic thinking for key issues and open questions. The anthology brings together established names such as Volker Gadenne, Ernst von Glasersfeld, Walter Grasnick, Adolf Holl, Peter Janich, Konrad Paul Liessmann, Siegfried J. Schmidt, Peter Strasser and Peter Weibel and a young generation of scientists. These authors address issues such as the relation of non-duality to (radical) constructivism and its compatibility with the actor-network theory of Bruno Latour. The book is based on the special issue of Constructivist Foundations 3(3) dedicated to the work of Josef Mitterer.
This article presents a discussion and a new theoretical model about how we adequately can describe education on the level of the classroom after the introduction of digital media and wireless networks. As its point of departure the article describes the contemporary situation within the classroom referring to research in Danish upper secondary schools. Then it discusses this situation in relation to medium theory and the education situation before digital media and wireless networks. After that the article provides a systems theoretical explanation following Niklas Luhmann and finds the theory’s explanatory power limited in relation to the new situation. Next the article introduces actor network theory following Bruno Latour to overcome the limits of Luhmann’s systems theory and reconstruct it framing a hybrid theory both sensitive to the new situation and able to observe it and analyze it adequately as historically linked to the old society. Exemplifying this hybrid theoretical model the article presents the action research project, Socio Media Education, showing pedagogical consequences and possibilities of the new media environment in relation to education. Finally we provide a conclusion on the contemporary situation of social media and the hybridization of