Chapter

Enumeration, Quantity, and Measurement

Kurt Smith

in Matter Matters

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199583652
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723155 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583652.003.0008
Enumeration, Quantity, and Measurement

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This chapter shows how Descartes's concept of the enumeration underwrites the concepts of quantity and measurement in physics. Here it is shown how Descartes established what the chapter calls the master enumeration. Modes of body, it is found, are understood within Descartes's system as classes of ‘dimensions’ which are determined by systems of measurement. These systems are what today are called ratio scales. It is shown how the enumeration, the paradigm of a nominal scale, underwrites the ratio scale.

Keywords: master enumeration; quantity; measurement; dimensions; corporeal modes; nominal scale; ordinal scale; interval scale; ratio scale

Chapter.  5208 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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