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Editorial notices


journal for qualitative research

ISSN 1211-5770
Registration code MK ČR: E 8364
Published by the civil association Casopis Biograf
Krompach 26, 47157
ICO: 27003213
Two issues per year.
Editor-in-chief: Barbora Spalová (

Text detail

Biograf 2020/71

Existence multiple: How does it fit in the table?

Zdeněk Konopásek

Existence multiple: How does it fit in the table?

An inquiry into modes of existence: An anthropology of the moderns (AIME) is an important recent book by Bruno Latour, published in 2013. It presents yet another attempt at explaining Latour’s sociological or anthropological approach, connected to so called actor-network theory (ANT). The book seeks to correct misunderstandings about this increasingly popular approach and pave the way for more "diplomatic" negotiations on what we as researchers try to say about the world. Without the context of Latour's all life's work, this book is not always easy to understand. That is why, to offer an outline of the AIME’s argument, I start with a brief review of this context. At the end of the paper, I come with a critical discussion. I suggest that the concept of modes of existence, as it is presented in the book, seems diverted from the former Latour’s sensitivity toward reality “in action”. Thanks to the AIME book, one can perhaps understand the differences between the imagined modes of existence, but it remains somewhat unclear and, in fact, invisible how they eventually become more or less distinct in practice, i.e., how issues become (or not) political, religious or scientific. Instead, in AIME, the world as if turns into rows and columns of a table. How does it fit in the table?


modes of existence; Bruno Latour; actor-network theory


LATOUR, B. (2013): An inquiry into modes of existence: An anthropology of the moderns. Cambridge, MA & London: Harvard University Press. 489 s.

Biograf themes:

Actor-network theory


KONOPÁSEK, Z. (2020): Existence na mnoho způsobů: Vejde se do tabulky? [Existence multiple: How does it fit in the table? ] Biograf, 71-72: 93-104. Available at [last access27. 01. 2022]

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