Intractosoma: Toward an Epistemology of Complexity Based on Intra-acting Bodies

Sainath Suryanarayanan


In this essay, I argue for an epistemology of complexity that is centered on intra-acting—always already interacting and becoming—bodies. I utilize analyses of the politics of knowledge concerning honey bee declines and gene-environment interaction research to outline a feminist-oriented epistemology in terms of multisensorial corporealities that I call “intractosoma.” I argue that re-organizing the production of observation, reduction, and difference along the lines of an intractosomal epistemology of complexity would lead to a more accurate understanding of complex phenomena, and entail a different politics in which the constructed distance between observers and observed can no longer absolve observers of “response-ability.” By shifting the locus of concern to always already enmeshed bodies, I seek to open analyses to a plurality of observers with their associated blind-spots and power dynamics, and a multiplicity of forms of knowing and becoming, beyond instrumentation, computation and quantification.



politics of knowledge and ignorance; feminist epistemologies; complexity; human-nonhuman relations; body; posthuman

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Copyright (c) 2016 Sainath Suryanarayanan

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