Realistic ontology of Bruno Latour and Manuel DeLanda

  • Nikola Bogićević University of Banja Luka, Faculty of Philosophy
Keywords: realism, actor-network theory, modes of existence, relations of exteriority, social complexity, assemblages


This paper presents a brief review of some of the hypotheses of realistic ontology, with a focus on its two living representatives, namely Bruno Latour and Manuel DeLanda. First, the paper examines the theoretical postulates from Latour’s An Inquiry into Modes of Existence. An Anthropology of the Moderns (2013), a book in which the author completes his own ontological thesis about the so-called modes of existence and from DeLanda’s reflections of assemblages and social complexity in A New Philosophy of Society. Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (2006). Then, the paper summarizes the arguments in a sort of a coherent whole. The obtained result will not serve as evidence of the existence of the coarsely determined theoretical and philosophical system, but as a sort of platform which can be used for analyses of the phenomena which would primarily be relative, but also real at the same time. The methodological origin excludes a linear, dialectic development of thinking; therefore, it cannot ultimately carry the predicate of classic philosophical criticism. Latour’s and DeLanda’s ontologies use numerous terms which do not owe their genesis to well-established philosophical systems. Furthermore, the paper will point to particular kinds of pluralistic understanding of the world and of formal understanding of the ontology of change, as well as provide some information as to what the definition of realism in ontology could be, liberated from the transcendental philosophy and the treatment of experience as pre-captured by the functions of the mind.

How to Cite
Bogićević, N. (2020). Realistic ontology of Bruno Latour and Manuel DeLanda. Noema: Journal for Humanities and Social Thought, 5(8), 77-104.