I would hazard a guess and suggest that metaphysics is not a term that most people would normally associate with the activity of consumption. Indeed it seems more likely that these two would be regarded as polar opposites; the one concerned – as the dictionary puts it – with ‘first principles, especially in relation to being and knowing’, the other with the routine, the practical and the mundane. How then is it that I am suggesting that there might be a connection between the two? Well I arrived at the intimation of a link largely as a consequence of my attempts to seek an answer to the question of why consuming has come to occupy such a central place in our lives. Why, in other words, are the activities generally associated with the term ‘consumption’, such as the searching out, purchasing and using goods and services that meet our needs or satisfy our wants, regarded as so extraordinarily important? Because it seems self-evident to me that, in general and with some significant exceptions, that is precisely how they are regarded by the majority of people in contemporary society, as especially important if not actually central to their lives. It also seems largely self-evident that this has not been the case in previous eras