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Intensive and Extensive Quantities

Perry, Zee (2014) Intensive and Extensive Quantities. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Quantities are properties and relations which exhibit "quantitative structure". For physical quantities, this structure can impact the non-quantitative world in different ways. In this paper I introduce and motivate a novel distinction between quantities based on the way their quantitative structure constrains the possible mereological structure of their instances. Specifically, I identify a category of “properly extensive” quantities, which are a proper sub-class of the additive or extensive quantities. I present and motivate this distinction using two case studies of successful physical measurements. (of mass and length, respectively). I argue that the best explanation for the success of the length measurement requires us to adopt a notion of proper extensiveness, which is distinct from mere additivity, which is exhibited by inertial mass. I further discuss the consequences of this distinction, sketching an application of proper extensiveness for the project of producing a non-mathematical and non-metrical reductive metaphysics of quantity.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Keywords: Quantity, additivity, mereology, extensive, intensive, measurement, metric structure
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Experimentation
Depositing User: Ms. Zee Perry
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2014 02:21
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2014 02:21
Item ID: 11101
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Experimentation
Date: 20 October 2014

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