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By Kenneth N. Stevens

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Additional info for Acoustic Phonetics (1999,2000) (Current Studies in Linguistics)

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Claiming identity with them, and wiping out his own performative tracks, Latour operates as the exemplary ‘absent spokesperson’ for the ‘actual practices’ of his subjects, who does not critically oppose his own alternative interpretation of what they do to their self-interpretations, but ‘shifts it out’ towards their practices in order subsequently to download it to his own acritical description of them. ) paradox. 12 On the one hand, the identity between the spokesperson and his ‘thing’ is the universal and stated goal of all translation/representation.

Once again, it is not to privilege the part over the whole or to pitch ‘two-ness’ against ‘one-ness’ (although I do defend difference against identity in another sense), but to bring out the epistemological complicity of realist definitions on both levels. Intended is rather that all situations for situated knowledges are subject to prior definition, that all standpoints are discursively constituted, and that all collective subjects and identities (the proletariat, the intellectuals, the nation, humanity, strangers) must be ‘spoken’ or ‘staged’ or ‘performed’ in order to gain (or lose) reality in specific explanations of the world.

Popper’s description of science), which turns into unwarranted idealization if this limited practice is universalized into an authoritative rule for all (cf. Kuhn’s objections and his defence of ‘normal’ science). It is countered by a realism which, rather than ‘merely’ describing the social anchorage of intellectuals in a dispassionate way, effectively denigrates their role, brings them down to earth, discredits their self-adopted high mission, accuses them of muffling their mundane interests behind solemn gestures and sublime sounds.

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