A picture of the world as chiefly one of discrete objects, distributed in space and time, has sometimes seemed compelling. It is however one of the main targets of Henry Laycock's book; for it is seriously incomplete. The picture, he argues, leaves no space for 'stuff' like air and water. With discrete objects, we may always ask 'how many?', but with stuff the question has to be 'how much?' Laycock's fascinating exploration also addresses key logical and linguistic questions about the way we categorize the many and the much.

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