Categorization

"How would a psychiatrist categorize a mental patient without the DSM? It is no use saying that those categories are arbitrary, conventional, fuzzy, or, on the contrary, too sharply bounded or too unrealistic. They do solve practically the problem of extending some standard everywhere locally through the circulation of some traceable document - even though the metaphor of a document might dim somewhat. it is not the case that some powerful people unfairly 'pigeon-holed' other people whose 'ineffable interiority' is thus ignored and mutilated; rather, the circulation of quasi-standards allow anonymous and isolated agencies to slowly become, layer after layer, comparable and commensurable - which is surely a large part of what we mean by being human." -Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social. 

Alex SiegmanComment