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Being and MotionBeing and Motion

Thomas Nail

Narrated by Douglas McDonald

Available from Audible

Book published by Oxford University Press

More than at any other time in human history, we live in an age defined by movement and mobility; and yet, we lack a unifying theory which takes this seriously as a starting point for philosophy. The history of philosophy has systematically explained movement as derived from something else that does not move: space, eternity, force, and time. Why, when movement has always been central to human societies, did a philosophy based on movement never take hold? This book finally overturns this long-standing metaphysical tradition by placing movement at the heart of philosophy.

In doing so, Being and Motion provides a completely new understanding of the most fundamental categories of ontology from a movement-oriented perspective: quality, quantity, relation, modality, and others. It also provides the first history of the philosophy of motion, from early prehistoric mythologies up to contemporary ontologies. Through its systematic ontology of movement, Being and Motion provides a path-breaking historical ontology of our present.

Thomas Nail is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver.


“This bold and imaginative book outlines an ontology of being as motion and a materialist conception of the ontological practices that underlay previous Western ontologies of space, eternity, force, and time. Its extraordinary ambition to create a new domain of kinetic philosophy is matched by its scope and wide-ranging erudition. Being and Motion is a book for our time.”

—Paul Patton, Professor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales, Sydney

“This is a remarkable project, comparable in scope and ambition to Martin Heidegger's Being and Time. In his earlier books on 'kinopolitics,' Nail showed that we have entered a new kinetic paradigm in politics in which the migrant is the primary figure, and states, borders, and citizenship are all secondary phenomena derived from this regime of people-in-movement. Being and Motion takes this project to a broader ontological level, arguing not only that movement must now be seen as the fundamental category of 'being,' but that ontology itself must become mobile. This is philosophy on a grand scale: bold, innovative, and wide-ranging.”

—Daniel W. Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Purdue University

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University Press Audiobooks