Quality and quantity's relevance to critical feeling

Quality is an attribute you give to help label something. Quantity is a measurement you use to help label something.

Quality requires quantity for it to exist. One can’t measure how hard something is without two things to compare them to. Quantity requires quality for it to exist. One can’t measure something with which it has no label.

To attribute a quality to something, it must be fully defined. One cannot attribute a quality to something without fully knowing what it is. In turn, one cannot measure something that has not been fully defined. What is 0 or 100 if one cannot define them?


This struck me as I was watching a video[1] and ended up with a discussion with a roommate about this relates to critical feeling. As defined by Bret Weinstein[3], critical feeling is making sure that you don’t get caught up in other people’s feelings. One can use quality and quantity to more honestly trust your critical feeling in this way:

When one is presented with a quality or label, either from another person or from within themselves, one must seek to define the quality as fully and completely as possible. For instance, if one is accused of being “lazy”, one must define it, and preferably with whoever is making the accusation in mind. Once this quality is defined, one can then measure if they indeed hold this attribute, how much, and the impact this quality is having upon those affected, which could be themselves, their community, their family, or whatever. Once one has this information, one can truly understand the circumstances and be critical of the quality and it’s truthfulness in it’s application.

If one cannot define the quality that is being attributed, they have no business attributing it. And if once defined, one cannot measure the impact the attribute has, then it is not important.

I believe this exercise has the potential to avoid claims of essentialism[4] (all humans are bad/good, all X people are Y), to help ground accusations or problems in the realm of the logical and the real, and to present us with further action, instead of letting our brain buck or accept a quality that may or may not be useful or important.


References:

  1. https://youtu.be/eOfVBqGPwi0?t=886
  2. Critical Feeling
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfAumoTIeik
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essentialism
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