Introduction: Nature, species and machines
DOI link for Introduction: Nature, species and machines
Introduction: Nature, species and machines book
This chapter elucidates a social theory of 'machination' and accumulation and the entanglement of humans and their machines with nature. The destruction of species and their diversion away from 'natural' forms of progression by human intervention is situated within new concepts of 'nature' and the relation of human beings to it and their relation to themselves as 'natural' beings. The chapter introduces the idea of transhumant humanity- the humanity of migration, movement and pastoralism as a way of thinking about the potentialities of human and animal development. Max Weber often used machine analogies in his exploration of bureaucracy and the ultimate fate of humanity. Durkheim's understanding of the division of labour, nature and totemism were more opaque in that his direct encounters and observations of the machine were limited. His initial thoughts, however, are worth pursuing, particularly the Durkheimian influence on the Annales school of historiography and specifically on that great commentator on the medieval machine Marc Bloch.