Deep structure: The generative subject in actor-network theory and musicology

Patrick Valiquet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

One of the central innovations of actor-network theory (ANT) is its claim to include both objects and subjects in social analysis. The implications of this step are so radical, and so forcefully argued, that many assume that ANT has turned to objects at the expense of subjects. Eliot Bates, for instance, remarks that “ANT is not especially attuned to phenomenological questions and to the nuances of human feeling” and must therefore be supplemented with more inspiring “vital” materialisms. The overarching goal is thus to sketch out a level of analysis upon which musicological and ANT discourse are themselves aggregations of “epistemic objects”. The concept of generative grammar transformed scientific practice far beyond linguistics by casting human subjectivity in a radically new light. Importantly, generative grammar was not an empirical discovery, drawn from a collection of data, but rather an abstract hypothesis about the form of human language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Music through Science and Technology Studies
EditorsAntoine Hennion, Christophe Levaux
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Chapter5
Pages88-109
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780429268830
ISBN (Print)9780367200541
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021

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