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Towards a continuous-matter philosophy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/05/2021
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this paper, I make a case for a philosophy of continuous matter, in dialogue with object-oriented ontology. A continuous-matter philosophy is one that focuses not on the identity, properties and relations of discrete, countable objects, but on the nature of extended substances, both in relation to human experience and in terms of their own ‘inner life’. I explore why and under what conditions humans might perceive the world as objects or as continuous substances, and the language that humans use for talking about both of them. I argue that approaching the world as continua requires the foregrounding of concepts that emphasise the immanent (internal to a region of space), the inclusive (with contrasting properties coexisting in the same substance), the gradual (manifesting differentially at different points) and the generative or virtual (involving the constant production of form and new gradients). I suggest that starting philosophy from continuous matter rather than objects also has wider implications for speculative thought.