Jo E. Wolff (KCL): “Absolutism about Quantity – Decision by case study?”

Recent work on physical quantities has focused on a debate over absolutism vs. comparativism about quantities. In this talk I will be interested in whether this debate can be decided by arguments from physics. I will look at several case studies from the physical sciences, some of which have been invoked to make a case for comparativism, while others seem suitable to support absolutism. I argue that none of the case studies succeeds as an argument in favour of comparativism. In the final part of the talk I turn to the question whether any of the case studies makes a decisive case for absolutism.

Jo E. Wolff is a Lecturer in Philosophy at King’s College London.