On twitter and elsewhere a debate has arisen surrounding substances versus production. Here the thesis runs that production is prior or anterior to substance. Given that I write about production all over the place and thematize objects as in a constant state of self-production because they are perpetually disintegrating (this will become clearer once The Democracy of Objects comes out), this is a core theme for me. However, it does seem to me that the thesis that production is anterior to substances is based on a bit of a fallacy. The idea seems to be that because substances must be produced, there must be a domain of production anterior to and other than substance. I’m fully on board with the thesis that substances must be produced– this is one of the things that interests me most –but I don’t accept the idea that because of this there is a domain anterior to substances (this would be my gripe with Simondonian talk of the pre-individual). Rather, substances are produced out of other substances. Within this framework, being would always and everywhere be composed of substances– existence would come in chunks –but new substances would be produced out of other substances. Production is certainly anterior to substances, but this anteriority is not something other than substances, but rather is composed of other substances. In this regard, I just don’t see much of a debate between substance-ontology and production-ontology. Substance-ontology can thematize and discuss production to its hearts content. In doing so, however, it’s still discussing dynamics of substances in the genesis of new substances.
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