(1) Hume taught us suspicion about causation.
Causation is observer-dependent and variable when seen
as a cultural construct and accomplishment, not as the natural
order of things in their true being. Saying that universality
is a possible result, not cause, of order is also observer-dependent.
This observer is sociology observing social structure. For those
involved in such a "universal" order, the arrow of causation
reverses, and their orders universality simply is. When
we talk about causes, we keep in mind that different observers
assign causality in different ways, and interrupt causal regresses
at different points. The more sciences are being done, the more
observers perceive different causalities. Sometimes, we use "covariation,"
instead of "causation," to reaffirm this Humean caution
(2) Ceteris paribus is important here, since
there are many more causes than can be accomodated by a linear
argument. Causes work together, at the same time, while a text
can introduce causes only one after another.
(3) We use "postism" here to combine
various skeptical and revisionist movements, including postpositivism,
poststructuralism, postmodernism, post-enlightenment, etc.
(4) We should add that Latours postism
does not make the move toward idealism, as some other textualist
approaches in science studies do.
(5)Actor-network philosophers love to invent
new words. To prove that we can do this, too, we shall sometimes
call them "persings," a hybrid of persons and things.
(6) In quotation marks because actor-network
actants dont really like or want theory.
(7) See note 4.
(8) The next question, then, is why they arent
part of a moral community. One possible answer is: because they
are bacteria!, but sociology cannot be satisfied by such referential
or realist explanations. For sociology, as indeed for any science
that replaces substances by elements, and essences by relations,
nothing is what it is because of its natural or intrinsic characteristics.
(9) Jennifer Lehmann from the University of