|Quantities, philosophy: quantity is an expression for the set of countable objects, which is referred to in a statement, or correspondingly the expression for the mass of an uncountable material substance about which a statement is. Today, quantity is no longer regarded fundamentally as a category, as it was the case in the traditional philosophy since Aristotle. See also qualities, categories, mass terms, problem of quantities._____________Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments. |
Quantities/Quantity/Bigelow/Pargetter: with them we are going to refer to the core area of metaphysics.
Universals/Bigelow/Pargetter: emerge from the confrontation that certain things can be something and something else at the same time. That is only a superficial contradiction.
a) two things are equal by both having a mass.
b) they differ at the same time because they have different masses.
Quantities/Plato/Bigelow/Pargetter: Problem: if properties are something that a thing can either have or not have, there is a problem of quantities.
Solution/Plato: Participation in forms. Allows gradual treatment.
We are a moving a little away from Plato.
Quantity/Plato/Bigelow/Pargetter: Solutions of this kind have in common that they postulate an entity and vary the relation between this entity and the individuals who own it.
The entity explains what individuals have in common. The relation explains the different degrees.
Nominalism/Berkeley/Bigelow/Pargetter: this is Berkeley's nominalism: a platonic, abstract form is replaced by a special individual, a "paradigm". (Terminology).
Commonality: individuals have commonality when they resemble the same paradigm.
Similarity: is, of course, also gradual, like gradual participation in forms in Plato.
Berkeley/Plato/Bigelow/Pargetter: the theories are quite similar: they explain how properties can be gradual.
Quantities/Bigelow/Pargetter: this does not solve the general problem of quantities (that they are gradual).
Problem: Degrees of a relation.
Solution: Similarity and participation are an attempt.
Forms/Plato/Bigelow/Pargetter: we do not claim that his theory of forms is wrong.
BigelowVsPlato: it does not solve the problem of quantities. (The nature of quantity).
Quantities/Possible Worlds/Bigelow/Pargetter: Question: What should we allow as basic equipment? Forces, for sure. Thesis: there are essential connections between fundamental forces and the fundamental causal relation.
Causality/Bigelow/Pargetter: must therefore also be part of the basic equipment of our world._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990