About: Plastic Bodies

Tom Sparrow (Philosophy, Slippery Rock University) maintains this blog so he can tinker with ideas and keep himself writing. If you’re inclined, you can email: tomsparrow@gmail.com or follow me: @thomsparrow. You can also find my online academic profile at this location, and here is my PhilPapers page.

Plasticity, wrote William James in The Principles of Psychology, ‘means the possession of a structure weak enough to yield to an influence, but stong enough not to yield all at once’.

Spinoza said the following about bodies in the second part of the Ethics: ‘When a number of bodies of the same or different magnitude form close contact with one another through the pressure of other bodies upon them, or if they are moving at the same or different rates of speed so as to preserve an unvarying relation of movement among themselves, these bodies are said to be united with one another and all together to form one body or individual thing, which is distinguished from other things through this union of bodies’.