Question Home

Position:Home>Philosophy> "When you can measure what you are speaking about...?

Question: "When you can measure what you are speaking about!.!.!.!?
!.!.!.and can express it in numbers,you know something about it,and when you cannot measure it,when you cannot express it in numbers,your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind"

-Lord Kelvin aka William Thomson,physicist

Probably his epistemological views!.

What do you think about this quote!?Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
I had a Math teacher say the same thing to me once!. This is a dogma that results from a reduction of knowledge to something like Mathematical Physics!. It is a radical Epistemology!. The propping-up of Mathematical models as ideal forms of knowledge goes all the way back to Descartes, and even as far back as Pythagoras!.

Humanity has missunderstood Knowledge, because we have held up certain cases where we want to say we know, and have assumed all knowledge must confom to either the substance or form of those cases!. Knowledge is both more local and more universal than we routinely think!. Often times knowledge doesn't even have to be true, if what we want to empasize in a specific context with a statement is to have someone see a connection (such as a process); or perhaps the conditions of the situation require a weaker standard of knowledge, but the statements will all still be made in the same way!. See, there is a much more complex thing going on than we assume!.

It is best to start Philosophy with the statement!. A statement isn't a sentence, but any statement may represented by an English sentence!. The statement is the content of an assertion!. Assertions are useful in certain communicative contexts, but we have simplified them by assuming that they are all true or false!. That black and white analogy only truly applies to a specific type of statement- The "specific empirical fact!." This simplification; this delusion, continues to keep us dumber than we can be if we learn to see through it!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

For him it makes since and is perfect!. We all find ways to explain things and numbers is his, even the expression I don't know says a lot about the person and thoughts they are hiding!. I can understand and see how all things can be measured, I don't believe we should measure all things!. Just because we can doesn't mean we should!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

This is a description of Pythagorean numerology, the belief that the entire universe can be defined in numbers!. It is a correct quote, as everything physical can be defined as the components that make it up mathematically!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

That is something that makes me feel more enthusiastic about Maths!.
I mean, the fact that maths can apply to the universe and to the world we are living in!.
the more Maths I learn, I view the world differently!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

An appropriate view for a Physicist!.
Here in Philosophy however, we deal with some intangibles
that are not easily, or even possibly, susceptible to numeric