In this article, I argue for the redundancy of Whitehead’s Platonic notion of the extensive continuum, counterposing it to his related notion of an atomic “ether of events.” I argue that Whitehead’s atomic ether is more compatible with orthodox general relativity than generally supposed and remarkably close to the contemporary idea of a discrete manifold in the causal set theory of quantum gravity. I argue that the method of extensive abstraction complements Whitehead’s atomic hypothesis by demonstrating the ultimately fictive nature of any continuum.

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