The ontological distinction between units and entities

  title={The ontological distinction between units and entities},
  author={Gordon Cooper and Stephen M. Humphry},
The base units of the SI include six units of continuous quantities and the mole, which is defined as proportional to the number of specified elementary entities in a sample. The existence of the mole as a unit has prompted comment in Metrologia that units of all enumerable entities should be defined though not listed as base units. In a similar vein, the BIPM defines numbers of entities as quantities of dimension one, although without admitting these entities as base units. However, there is a… 

The evolution of chemical metrology: distinguishing between amount of substance and counting quantities, now and in the future

This discussion article begins by highlighting the benefits of the mole’s incorporation within the international system of units (SI), in particular by bringing chemical measurement within formal

What is a mole?

The mole was the final base unit to be included in the International System of Units. This article explores: our understanding of the mole and its characteristics; its relationship with the base

A metrological approach to quantities that are counted and the unit one

There has long been debate over how to treat dimensionless quantities, or quantities with the unit one, within the International System of Units (SI). These arguments have been brought into sharper

Future requirements for non-decimal unit prefixes in chemical measurement

The 2019 revision of the International System of Units (SI), including the redefinition of the mole, and the progress of analytical chemistry technologies allowing single-molecule resolution has

Understanding Measurement in Light of Its Origins

The paper revisits the way in which Newton understood and expressed physical definitions and laws and reviews a compact form of notation that has been used to denote both ratios of physical quantities and compound ratios, involving two or more kinds of quantity.

On the lattice of physical concepts

Unlike the organization of the chemical elements in a periodic table, no conclusive results are published about the organization of the physical quantities. A physical quantity is a quantity that is

Stevens’ forgotten crossroads: the divergent measurement traditions in the physical and psychological sciences from the mid-twentieth century

The late 19th and early 20th Centuries saw the consolidation in physics of the three main traditions that predominate in discussions of measurement theory. These are: (i) the systematic tradition

The mole is not an ordinary measurement unit

In this paper, it is argued that the SI system has not carefully enough taken into account the differences that exist between stoichiometry and physics, and because of this neglect forced the

Kinds versus continua: a review of psychometric approaches to uncover the structure of psychiatric constructs

The evaluation of the psychometric literature shows that the kinds–continua distinction is considerably more subtle than is often presupposed in research; in particular, the hypotheses of kinds and continua are not mutually exclusive or exhaustive.



On the algebra of quantities and their units

This paper questions their usefulness and suggests that derived units be defined only by the definitions of their quantities and of the base units of the system.

On the Distribution of Measurements in Units that are not Arbitrary

Measurement achieved in the physical sciences as some kind of mapping on a continuum partitioned into equal units from an origin is understood readily. However, measurement is also an advanced

On quantity calculus and units of measurement

‘Quantity calculus’ is a name sometimes given to algebra as it is applied to quantities. It is assumed that the rules of algebra apply equally well to quantities as they do to numbers, and that they

On the History of Quantity Calculus and the International System

A brief presentation is given of the most important developments in the history of quantity calculus. Starting with the early introduction of the concept physical quantity by Maxwell in his work on

Measurement: a beginner's guide.

  • J. Michell
  • Psychology
    Journal of applied measurement
  • 2003
The position presented is that measurement is the estimation of the magnitude of a quantitative attribute relative to a unit and that quantification is always contingent upon first attempting the scientific task of acquiring evidence that the relevant attribute is quantitative in structure.

Measurement: Its Concepts, Theories and Problems

1. Introduction.- 2. Measurement.- 2.1. The Explication of the Concept of Measurement.- 2.2. The Definition of the Concept of Measurement.- 2.3. The Subject Matter, Function and Scope of

One as a ‘unit’ in expressing the magnitudes of quantities

In recent years the Comité International des Poids et Mesures has assigned the unit one to all dimensionless quantities and to some countable quantities. This article examines the reasons for that

'Atomic weight': The name, its history, definition, and units


Measurement in psychology: A critical history of a methodological concept.

1. Trusting number, forsaking measure 2. The mental measurement nexus 3. The logic of quantification 4. Safety in numbers 5. Break-out from the classical paradigm 6. Beyond measure 7. Made to measure

Notes on Social Measurement: Historical and Critical.

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