Intensive or Extensive? LO27193

From: Dressler, Winfried (
Date: 08/30/01

Replying to LO27179 --

>So all sorts of measures that describe the form, like
>centimetres, kilogrammes, quantities of molecules, etc. are scale
>dependent, hence extensive.

Dear Leo,

let me join and surprise you even more. In my eyes the measures which you
name do not descibe the form but the content. So what does describe the
form in my eyes then? Proportions of length and weight for example. Babies
differ from adults not so much by the size but the proportions of its
head-size (relatively big head) and leg-size (relatively short leg) etc.
This is why you recognise the baby also, when it is 4 meters in size (on a
cinema screen) or why your clown (at least the outside-form, but also the
inside-form, the character for those who can see through the outside-from)
is recognised as the same from those sitting in the first row (seeing a
big clown) as well as those sitting in the last row (seeing a small clown)
in the circus. The same for the kilograms. 90 kg and 90 kg make a big
difference whether they are the weight of a 160cm or 190cm person and what
proportion of it concentrates on the belly.

But as soon as you form proportions out of extensive quantities, they
become intensive qualities. Thus any content (the centimeters, kilograms,
quantities of molecules) always appear in certain form (the relations and
proportions of this content). Mass and volume (two extensive quantities)
do become density (an intensive quality) when mass is divided by volume.

Looking forward to see what you will do with this ;-)

Liebe Gruesse,


"Dressler, Winfried" <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.