I’ve been reading Michael Billig’s book Learn to Write Badly:How to Succeed in the Social Sciences and very much enjoying his discussion of nominalisation, and why it can be such a bad thing in the Social Sciences (because it leads to ambiguity and vagueness, amongst other things). Reading Billig reminded me that I was pointed to the concept of materiality a few months ago by my supervisor, and told that I’d need to have an opinion on it for my thesis. At the time my opinion was pretty unprintable, but Billig has given me the ammunition to stand up to it. Wikipedia has let me down here, it doesn’t have an entry about it, but there is this, which writes that: “materiality represents the merely apparent behind which lies that which is real”.
This whiffs of Platonic essences to me, and I’ll have no truck with that sort of nonsense 😉
Or maybe I will ..