Metaphysics of Quantity Conference @ NYU Spring 2015!!

Two characteristics distinguish quantities from non-quantitative properties and relations. First, every quantity is associated with a class of determinate “magnitudes” or “values” of that quantity, each member of which is a property or relation itself. So when a particle possesses mass or charge, it always instantiates one particular magnitude of mass or charge — like 2.5 kilograms or 7 Coulombs. Second, the magnitudes of a given quantity (alternatively, the particulars which instantiate those magnitudes) exhibit “quantitative structure”, which comprises things like: ordering structure, summation/concatenation structure, ratio structure, directional structure, etc. We often represent quantities using similarly-structured mathematical entities, like numbers, vectors, etc.

The metaphysics of quantity concerns the nature of these features.  Questions in the metaphysics of quantity include: how are quantities related to numbers? Are some physical quantities intrinsic to objects?  What role do quantitative features play in laws of nature? In virtue of what do a quantity’s determinates exhibit metric, or other quantitative structure?

Organizers and Participants

Invited Speakers:

Maya Eddon – University of Massachusetts, Amherst

David Baker – University of Michigan

Jessica Wilson – University of Toronto

Cian Dorr – New York University

Keynote Speaker:

Brent Mundy – Syracuse



Conference Organizers:

Erica Shumener – New York University (Ph.D. Candidate)

Zee R Perry – New York University (Ph.D. Candidate)


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