Philosophy of Physical Magnitudes

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic


Dimensional quantities such as length, mass and charge, i.e., numbers combined with a conventional unit, are essential components of theories in the sciences, especially physics, chemistry and biology. Do they represent a world with absolute physical magnitudes, or are they merely magnitude ratios in disguise? Would we notice a difference if all the distances or charges in the world suddenly doubled? These central questions of this Element are illustrated by imagining how one would convey the meaning of a kilogram to aliens if one were only allowed to communicate via Morse code.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge: Cambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781009233705
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2024


  • physical magnitudes
  • physical quantities
  • scaling symmetries
  • metaphysics of quantities
  • mass


Dive into the research topics of 'Philosophy of Physical Magnitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this