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The Political MachineAssembling Sovereignty in the Bronze Age Caucasus$
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Adam T. Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163239

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163239.001.0001

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On Assemblages and Machines

On Assemblages and Machines

(p.27) Chapter 1 On Assemblages and Machines
The Political Machine

Adam T. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines modernity's effort to banish objects from the production of social life alongside a series of counterprojects that have consistently smuggled things back into our thinking. The current “material” or “archaeological” turn in the human sciences represents only the most recent of these counterprojects, embracing multiple perspectives from the abstract philosophies of speculative materialism and object-oriented philosophy to grassroots social movements, such as permaculture and transition towns. The intention in situating the archaeological turn within a wider genealogy of our struggle to understand the world of things is to develop a conceptual repertoire that will allow us to accord objects a presumption of difference—an analytical stance that neither anthropomorphizes their operation nor dismisses them as unknowable.

Keywords:   modernity, social life, objects, counterprojects, archaeology, human science

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