One of the main blockages to fruitful dialogue at the final AIME Conference was the hijacking of the discussion by talk of Gaia. The book AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE is a treatise in empirical ontology, describing the 15 modes of existence that characterise the Moderns. There is much to be discussed about the general form of the project, its concepts and methodology, its similarities and differences with predecessors and contemporaries working on comparable projects, about possible improvements and additions. However, this is not a book that teaches us about Gaia, but rather one that is written in the conviction that ecological concerns are now of paramount importance. This is an extrinsic motivation, and the bulk of the book is not at all about Gaia, but about the 15 modes of existence and their crossings. There is much to be said about the analyses of the modes, but the delicate ontological discussion tends to be truncated by the more grandiose stakes of the irruption of Gaia .

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