The Origin of Quantification


Neither the Greek nor the Alexandrian nor the early Arabic philosopher/scientists ever developed a mathematical representation of qualities, a prerequisite for a mathematical physics. By the early seventeenth century the quantification of qualities was a common practice. This article traces the way this practice developed. It originated with a medievally theological problem and was developed by philosophical logicians who did not have mathematical physics as a goal. The verbal algebra they developed was given a mathematical formulation in the late fifteenth century. This was subsequently assimilated into a neo-Platonic revival that stressed mathematical forms. The quantification of qualities developed in physics supplied the paradigm for quantification in other fields.

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MacKinnon, E. (2013) The Origin of Quantification. Open Journal of Philosophy, 3, 6-9. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2013.34A002.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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