Call For Papers (Now Closed)

We are no longer accepting submissions for the May 2015 Metaphysics of Quantity Conference at NYU

Conference Title: “The Metaphysics of Quantity”

Location: New York University Department of Philosophy
(Organized by Erica Shumener (NYU) and Zee Perry (NYU), with generous support from the New York Institute of Philosophy)

Conference Date: Friday May 1st – Sunday May 3rd, 2015

Submission Deadline: February 1st, 2015
DEADLINE EXTENDED! New Deadline: February 15th, 2015

Description:  This conference aims to showcase new work on the nature of quantitative properties and relations. By quantities we mean to include physical magnitudes—like mass, electric charge, or velocity—as well as other gradable features—like spicyness, population density, temperature, (aesthetic/moral) value.
Quantities are often thought to exhibit a determinable/determinate structure.  For instance, mass is an example of a determinable quantity while 5kg mass is an example of a determinate quantity. The metaphysics of quantity concerns the nature of these features.  Questions in the metaphysics of quantity include: how are quantities related to numbers? Are some physical quantities intrinsic to objects?  What role do quantitative features play in laws of nature? In virtue of what do a quantity’s determinates exhibit metric structure, etc?

We invite philosophers to contribute papers on any topic concerning the metaphysics of quantity.  The conference will consist of a combination of talks from accepted papers, as well as presentations by the invited speakers, below:


Cian Dorr (New York University)

Maya Eddon (UMass Amherst)

Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto)

David Baker (University of Michigan)

Keynote Address
:  Brent Mundy (Syracuse)
Topics of contributed papers may include but are not limited to:

  • The relationship between quantities and numbers
  • The metric structure of quantities
  • The relationship between physical quantities and measurement theory
  • Quantities and their role in the laws
  • Quantities and their role in scientific and/or mathematical explanations.
  • The relationship between quantities and debates concerning the metaphysics of space and time
  • Absolutism vs comparativism in the metaphysics of quantity
  • The intrinsicality/extrinsicality of quantitative properties.
  • Quantities and the nominalism vs realism debate
  • Quantities and dispositions
  • Quantities and causation
  • Quantities and modality
  • The relationship between quantities and naturalness, fundamentality, and/or grounding.
  • The metaphysics of non-fundamental quantities
  • The relationship between physical quantities and mereology (issues of additivity, etc.)
  • The significance of “zero value” determinate quantities (like 0kg of mass, 0m, or neutral charge)
  • Quantities and the metaphysics of logic
  • The nature of quantities commonly represented with vectors, like velocity, force, strength, etc.
  • The metaphysics of non-scalar quantities
  • The metaphysics of evaluative/normative quantities
  • The determinable/determinate structure of quantitative properties and relations.

Papers should be suitable for a 45 minute presentation.  The ideal length is around 5,000-6,000 words.  Please submit a fully anonymized copy of your paper to in pdf, rtf or docx format.  Please also attach a separate document including your name, title of your paper, contact information, and institutional affiliation (if any).

The deadline for submissions is February 1st. February 15th.

If you have questions about the conference, please contact Zee Perry at or Erica Shumener at