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By Bruno Latour, Vincent Antonin Lepinay

How can economics turn into surely quantitative? this is often the query that French sociologist Gabriel Tarde tackled on the finish of his profession, and during this pamphlet, Bruno Latour and Vincent Antonin Lépinay supply a full of life creation to the paintings of the forgotten genius of nineteenth-century social inspiration. Tarde’s answer used to be in overall contradiction to the dominant perspectives of his time: to quantify the connections among humans and items, you want to seize “passionate interests.” In Tarde’s view, capitalism isn't really a procedure of chilly calculations—rather it's a consistent amplification within the depth and achieve of passions. In a beautiful anticipation of up to date monetary anthropology, Tarde’s paintings defines another direction past the 2 illusions accountable for a lot sleek distress: the adepts of the Invisible Hand and the devotees of the obvious Hand will find out how to get away the sterility in their struggle and realize the originality of a philosopher for whom every thing is intersubjective, consequently quantifiable.

At a time while the law of economic markets is the topic of heated debate, Latour and Lépinay offer a worthwhile ancient standpoint at the primary nature of capitalism.

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Extra resources for The Science of Passionate Interests: An Introduction to Gabriel Tarde's Economic Anthropology

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The fabric of vectors and tensors which defmes the attachments of people and assets consists-and here lies Tarde's truly innovative character-of arguments whose premises and deductions form practical syllogisms which are, in fact, the whole substance of economics. 40 Either through authoritarian suggestion or through demonstration, we can only communicate our thoughts to others (which is equivalent to a gift of assets, the unilat­ eral beginning of an exchange of goods) on condition that we present them through their measurable and quantita­ tive aspects.

These two species share the characteristic of not being able to deflect their trajectory autonomously. What is the reason for their lack of autonomy? Paradoxically, it is because they are trends which are too pure, which means that they are incapable of changing course. Autonomy comes only to compounds, only to those entities which are the results of unstable interferences. When the raw force of bare work consists of an example of a previous solution to a similar opposition, a difference can be effected.

For Tarde, to naturalize does not mean to lower but on 46 the contrary to elevate economic activity to the level of . proliferation, multiplication, and invention, which will make it possible to explain the content of goods and not only the form of the exchange. Redistributing Production Factors Indeed, this Darwinian (but neither social nor neo­ Darwinian) manner of conceiving of the intertWining of an economics of nature, makes Tarde, in a sense, an attentive observer of what was not yet, at his time, called biotechnology and bio-politics.

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