Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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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.

Author Item Summary Meta data
I 49
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.
Quantity/Bigelow/Pargetter: Example:
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.
I 50
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).
I 264
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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Big I
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-07-11
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