Reality can be understood as being shaped by productive differences between certain physical quantities:
- Heat travels from high-temperature to low-temperature
- Low density oil floats in higher density water
- A pressure drop along a pipe results in flow
Each of these quantities — temperature, density, pressure — are intensive, meaning that their magnitude is independent of their size.
The concept of such gradients of intensity was used by the philosopher Manuel DeLanda in his Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, a book in the philosophy of science influenced by the ontological thought of Deleuze and Spinoza.