We have called our book Material Powers because we want to bring power and materiality closer together than has hitherto been the case. In attempting this, however, does not our title entail giving a hostage to fortune? This in the sense that the logic of its meaning seems to contradict the logic of our aspirations, one of which is to extend thinking beyond the familiar division between what is and is not ‘material’. For in invoking its opposite, heavenly powers, does not the term material powers describe a cosmos which is divided into two completely different substances, lofty spirit and base matter? Does this not simply reproduce the contention, apparent from the Enlightenment onwards, that the material is somehow earthly or basic in its earthliness, and because of this more real, and indeed more powerful, and certainly something generically different from that which is above the earth, namely, what is not material, which is to say ideas, values and so on?