CISP Online

Blog of the Centre for Invention & Social Process, Goldsmiths

Serres and Foundations

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CISP talk by Professor Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (Sociology, Tampere University)

30th May 4.30-6.30 pm

Richard Hoggart Building room 137a, Goldsmiths, University of London

Abstract
While Michel Serres’ work has become relatively well-known among social theoreticians in recent years, his explicit thematization of the foundations of human collectives has gained surprisingly little attention. This article claims that Serres’ approach to the theme of foundations can be clarified by scrutinizing the way in which he poses and answers the following three questions: How are we together? What and whom do we exclude from our togetherness and how? Who are we today? Instead of starting with a ready-made order, be it on the scale and form of individuals or society, Serres pushes social research to take up the challenge of examining the point at which order is about to emerge out of noise and chaos, but where the outcome of the process remains uncertain. Especially relevant to the discussion are Serres’ books Rome, Statues and Geometry, all three of which bear the subtitle Book of Foundations.

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