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Quantity

property that exists in a range of magnitudes or multitudes; property that can exist as a magnitude or multitude

Quantity is a property that can exist as a magnitude or multitude. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more," "less," or "equal," or by assigning a numerical value in terms of a unit of measurement.

QuotesEdit

A-LEdit

  • The mass is a matrix from which all traditional behavior toward works of art issues today in a new form. Quantity has been transmuted into quality. The greatly increased mass of participants has produced a change in the mode of participation.
    • Walter Benjamin, “The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction” (1935), Illuminations (1968), p. 239
  • Quantity has a quality all its own.
    • Cited in 1978 by Ruth M. Davis, U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Advanced Technology, attributed to Vladimir Lenin:
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1978). Quantity a Key to Military Strength. Science, 200(4346), 1134-1134. Available online at [1].
    • Previously presumed to be coined by Thomas A. Callaghan Jr., defense consultant and director of Allied Interdependence program in a 1979 article:
    • “Quantity has a Quality All Its Own,” Allied Interdependence Newsletter No. 13, Center for Strategic and International Studies, 21 June 1979, cited in Naval War College Review, “How much is not enough? The non-nuclear air battle in NATO's central region”, Volume 33, March-April (1980), footnote on p. 77, quotation on p. 68, echoing similar sentiments by Sam Nunn (“At some point numbers do count.”).
    • Widely misattributed to Carl von Clausewitz, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Leonid Brezhnev, especially to Stalin.
  • The demon of quantity, who will soon rule the world, is pressing home his attack and fortifying his positions in literary circles as everywhere else.
    • Georges Duhamel, In Defense of Letters (1937), E. Bozman, trans. (1939), p. 109
  • “Aristocracy,” … taken in its etymological sense, means precisely the power of the elect. The elect, by the very definition of the word, can only be the few, and their power, or rather their authority, being due to their intellectual superiority, has nothing in common with the numerical strength on which democracy is based, a strength whose inherent tendency is to sacrifice the minority to the majority, and therefore quality to quantity and the elect to the masses.
  • It is the same case with all those pretended syllogistical reasonings, which may be found in every other branch of learning, except the sciences of quantity and number; and these may safely, I think, be pronounced the only proper objects of knowledge and demonstration.
    • David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section 12, Part 3
  • Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
    • David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section 12, Part 3

M-ZEdit

  • Our culture, obsessed with numbers, has given us the idea that what we can measure is more important than what we can't measure. Think about that for a minute. It means that we make quantity more important than quality.
  • We cannot deny the indictment that we seek solution for practically every problem of life in quantitative terms, and are not fully aware of the limits of this approach.
  • The United States and the post-Stalinist Soviet Union … share the same cultural aims. Both issue from the assumption that wealth is a superior and adequate substitute for symbolic impoverishment. Both American and Soviet cultures are essentially variants of the same belief in wealth as the functional equivalent of a high civilization. In both cultures, the controlling symbolism has been stripped down to belief in the efficacy of wealth. Quantity has become quality. The answer to all questions of “what for?” is “more.”
  • If the quality of society could be replaced by quantity, it would be worth while to live in the world at large; but unfortunately a hundred fools in a crowd still do not produce one intelligent man.
    • Arthur Schopenhauer, “Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life,” Parerga und Paralipomena (1851), E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 330
  • That curious modern hypostatization “service” is often called in to substitute for the now incomprehensible doctrine of vocation. It tries to secure subordination by hypothesizing something larger than the self, which turns out, however, to be only a multitude of selfish selves. The familiar change from quality to quantity may again be noted; one serves not the higher part of the self (this entails hierarchy) … but merely consumer demand. And who admires those at the top of a hierarchy of consumption? Man as a consuming animal is thus seen to be not enough.
  • Monotony of evil: never anything new, everything about it is equivalent. ... It is because of this monotony that quantity plays so great a part. A host of women (Don Juan) or of men (Célimène), etc.
  • The spirit, overcome by the weight of quantity, has no longer any other criterion than efficiency.

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