I’m reading Latour’s Inquiry into Modes of Existence, about which more anon (if I ever figure it out). Latour’s approach demands a bountiful almost unbridled metaphysics. I like it, and fail to understand it, at the same time.
And I’m watching Kelso contribute to a debate about the origin of movement, or the notion of agency. Kelso makes the surprising suggestion that the fundamental unit of analysis to understand animate movement is the synergy, and that that should replace the reflex arc, which should make John Dewey happy.
I’d like to join these two dots. Latour’s menagerie is richer and more varied than the theory of coordination dynamics can ever reach, but it lacks any kind of rigour. And yet, a problem I, and many others, have had with coordination dynamics is that the full rigour of the approach, with nice equations and quantifiable degrees of freedom and such, all that is only available for periodic components. Oscillators, if you will. And I have long ago objected to building a model up on the basis of oscillators. For they are clocks, and biological beings have no clocks.