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Quantitative Properties

Philosophy Compass 8 (7):633-645 (2013)

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  1. The Turn of the Valve: Representing with Material Models.Roman Frigg & James Nguyen - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (2):205-224.
    Many scientific models are representations. Building on Goodman and Elgin’s notion of representation-as we analyse what this claim involves by providing a general definition of what makes something a scientific model, and formulating a novel account of how they represent. We call the result the DEKI account of representation, which offers a complex kind of representation involving an interplay of, denotation, exemplification, keying up of properties, and imputation. Throughout we focus on material models, and we illustrate our claims with the (...)
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  • Aggregation Without Interpersonal Comparisons of Well‐Being.Jacob M. Nebel - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This paper is about the role of interpersonal comparisons in Harsanyi's aggregation theorem. Harsanyi interpreted his theorem to show that a broadly utilitarian theory of distribution must be true even if there are no interpersonal comparisons of well-being. How is this possible? The orthodox view is that it is not. Some argue that the interpersonal comparability of well-being is hidden in Harsanyi's premises. Others argue that it is a surprising conclusion of Harsanyi's theorem, which is not presupposed by any one (...)
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  • Explaining Identity and Distinctness.Erica Shumener - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2073-2096.
    This paper offers a metaphysical explanation of the identity and distinctness of concrete objects. It is tempting to try to distinguish concrete objects on the basis of their possessing different qualitative features, where qualitative features are ones that do not involve identity. Yet, this criterion for object identity faces counterexamples: distinct objects can share all of their qualitative features. This paper suggests that in order to distinguish concrete objects we need to look not only at which properties and relations objects (...)
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  • Some Consequences of Physics for the Comparative Metaphysics of Quantity.David John Baker - 2020 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 12. Oxford University Press. pp. 75-112.
    According to comparativist theories of quantities, their intrinsic values are not fundamental. Instead, all the quantity facts are grounded in scale-independent relations like "twice as massive as" or "more massive than." I show that this sort of scale independence is best understood as a sort of metaphysical symmetry--a principle about which transformations of the non-fundamental ontology leave the fundamental ontology unchanged. Determinism--a core scientific concept easily formulated in absolutist terms--is more difficult for the comparativist to define. After settling on the (...)
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  • What Are Quantities?Joongol Kim - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):792-807.
    ABSTRACTThis paper presents a view of quantities as ‘adverbial’ entities of a certain kind—more specifically, determinate ways, or modes, of having length, mass, speed, and the like. In doing so, it will be argued that quantities as such should be distinguished from quantitative properties or relations, and are not universals but are particulars, although they are not objects, either. A main advantage of the adverbial view over its rivals will be found in its superior explanatory power with respect to both (...)
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  • On Representational Capacities, with an Application to General Relativity.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):228-249.
    Recent work on the hole argument in general relativity by Weatherall has drawn attention to the neglected concept of models’ representational capacities. I argue for several theses about the structure of these capacities, including that they should be understood not as many-to-one relations from models to the world, but in general as many-to-many relations constrained by the models’ isomorphisms. I then compare these ideas with a recent argument by Belot for the claim that some isometries “generate new possibilities” in general (...)
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  • Taking values seriously.Krister Bykvist - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    Recently, there has been a revival in taking empirical magnitudes seriously. Weights, heights, velocities and the like have been accepted as abstract entities in their own right rather than just equivalence classes of objects. The aim of my paper is to show that this revival should include value magnitudes. If we posit such magnitudes, important value comparisons can be easily explained; it becomes easier to satisfy the axioms for measurement of value; goodness, badness, and neutrality can be given univocal definitions; (...)
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  • Quantifier Variance, Mathematicians’ Freedom and the Revenge of Quinean Indispensability Worries.Sharon Berry - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Invoking a form of quantifier variance promises to let us explain mathematicians’ freedom to introduce new kinds of mathematical objects in a way that avoids some problems for standard platonist and nominalist views. In this paper I’ll note that, despite traditional associations between quantifier variance and Carnapian rejection of metaphysics, Siderian realists about metaphysics can naturally be quantifier variantists. Unfortunately a variant on the Quinean indispensability argument concerning grounding seems to pose a problem for philosophers who accept this hybrid. However (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Points.Aaron Segal - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):349-365.
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  • Invariance or Equivalence: A Tale of Two Principles.Caspar Jacobs - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    The presence of symmetries in physical theories implies a pernicious form of underdetermination. In order to avoid this theoretical vice, philosophers often espouse a principle called Leibniz Equivalence, which states that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs. Moreover, philosophers have claimed that the existence of non-trivial symmetries motivates us to accept the Invariance Principle, which states that quantities that vary under a theory’s symmetries aren’t physically real. Leibniz Equivalence and the Invariance Principle are often seen as part of (...)
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  • Fundamental Properties of Fundamental Properties.M. Eddon - 2013 - In Karen Bennett Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 8. pp. 78-104.
    Since the publication of David Lewis's ''New Work for a Theory of Universals,'' the distinction between properties that are fundamental – or perfectly natural – and those that are not has become a staple of mainstream metaphysics. Plausible candidates for perfect naturalness include the quantitative properties posited by fundamental physics. This paper argues for two claims: (1) the most satisfying account of quantitative properties employs higher-order relations, and (2) these relations must be perfectly natural, for otherwise the perfectly natural properties (...)
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  • The (Un)Detectability of Absolute Newtonian Masses.Niels C. M. Martens - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2511-2550.
    Absolutism about mass claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Dasgupta, Oxford studies in metaphysics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013) argues for comparativism about mass, in the context of Newtonian Gravity. Such an argument requires proving that comparativism is empirically adequate. Dasgupta equates this to showing that absolute masses are undetectable, and attempts to do so. This paper develops an argument by Baker to the contrary: absolute masses are in fact empirically meaningful, that is (...)
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  • Machian Comparativism About Mass.Niels C. M. Martens - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz013.
    Absolutism about mass within Newtonian gravity claims that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Comparativism denies this. Defenders of comparativism promise to recover all the empirical and theoretical virtues of absolutism, but at a lower ‘metaphysical cost’. This article develops a Machian form of comparativism about mass in Newtonian gravity, obtained by replacing Newton’s constant in the law of universal gravitation by another constant divided by the sum over all masses. Although this form of comparativism is indeed empirically (...)
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  • Against Comparativism About Mass in Newtonian Gravity - a Case Study in the Metaphysics of Scale.Niels C. M. Martens - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    This thesis concerns the metaphysics of scale. It investigates the implications of a physical determinable being dimensionful. In particular, it considers the case study of mass, as it features within Newtonian Gravity. Nevertheless, most of the terminology, methodology and arguments developed should be relatively straightforwardly applicable to other determinables and theories. -/- Weak Absolutism about mass holds that mass ratios obtain in virtue of absolute masses. Weak Comparativism denies this. In the first five chapters I argue in favour of Weak (...)
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  • Properties.Francesco Orilia & Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    2020 update of the entry "Properties".
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  • The Perception-Cognition Border: A Case for Architectural Division.E. J. Green - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (3):323-393.
    A venerable view holds that a border between perception and cognition is built into our cognitive architecture and that this imposes limits on the way information can flow between them. While the deliverances of perception are freely available for use in reasoning and inference, there are strict constraints on information flow in the opposite direction. Despite its plausibility, this approach to the perception-cognition border has faced criticism in recent years. This article develops an updated version of the architectural approach, which (...)
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  • Metaphysics of Quantity and the Limit of Phenomenal Concepts.Derek Lam - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (3):1-20.
    Quantities like mass and temperature are properties that come in degrees. And those degrees (e.g. 5 kg) are properties that are called the magnitudes of the quantities. Some philosophers (e.g., Byrne 2003; Byrne & Hilbert 2003; Schroer 2010) talk about magnitudes of phenomenal qualities as if some of our phenomenal qualities are quantities. The goal of this essay is to explore the anti-physicalist implication of this apparently innocent way of conceptualizing phenomenal quantities. I will first argue for a metaphysical thesis (...)
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  • How Models Represent.James Nguyen - 2016 - Dissertation,
    Scientific models are important, if not the sole, units of science. This thesis addresses the following question: in virtue of what do scientific models represent their target systems? In Part i I motivate the question, and lay out some important desiderata that any successful answer must meet. This provides a novel conceptual framework in which to think about the question of scientific representation. I then argue against Callender and Cohen’s attempt to diffuse the question. In Part ii I investigate the (...)
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  • The Path To Supersubstantivalism.Joshua D. Moulton - unknown
    This dissertation is divided into two parts. In the first part I defend substantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 1, a counterpart-theoretic defense of substantivalism from Leibniz’ shift arguments. Then, in chapter 2, I defend substantivalism from the hole argument and argue, against the consensus, that the question of haecceitism is irrelevant to substantivalism in the context of general relativity. In the second part of the dissertation I defend supersubstantivalism. I do this by offering, in chapter 3, an (...)
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  • Resemblance.Sam Cowling - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (4):e12401.
    Our ordinary judgments and our metaphysical theories share a common commitment to facts about resemblance. The nature of resemblance is, however, a matter of no small controversy. This essay examines some of the pressing questions that arise regarding the status and structure of resemblance. Among those to be discussed in what follows: what kinds of resemblance relations are there? Can resemblance be analyzed in terms of the sharing of properties? Is resemblance an objective or subjective matter? What, if any, resemblance (...)
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  • Fundamental Properties and the Laws of Nature.Heather Demarest - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):334-344.
    Fundamental properties and the laws of nature go hand in hand: mass and gravitation, charge and electromagnetism, spin and quantum mechanics. So, it is unsurprising that one's account of fundamental properties affects one's view of the laws of nature and vice versa. In this essay, I will survey a variety of recent attempts to provide a joint account of the fundamental properties and the laws of nature. Many of these accounts are new and unexplored. Some of them posit surprising entities, (...)
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