I love ngrams!
You've enticed me to play around also.
This ngram compares 'quantitative' and 'qualitative.' I think this is actually an interesting dynamic. The decline in quantitative is problematic, but I think the convergence between the two is a good trend. The two facets of analysis should not be considered oppositional. They enrich each other.
I recall being asked what the difference is between 'quality' and 'quantity' at a CasP conference. At the time, I dismissed the question as silly. But, it has remained with me ever since and I often find myself considering the relationship between quality and quantity.
Qualities are wholly incommensurable until they are quantified. Quantification is often implicit, such as a declaration that 'red is better than blue.' Although clearly a subjective declaration, it has an implicit ordinalization. Is there any basis for comparing one quality to another without quantification?
Is quantification a strictly human undertaking? Castoriadis referred to the ensidic, which is the word he used to describe the attribute of existence that allows it to be ordered, to be rendered sensible. The Universe is not mathematic, but it can mathematized. Existence is not quantitative, but it can be quantified. Latour wrote a book of aphorisms called 'Irreductions.' In it, he declares that nothing IS reducible or irreducible to anything else. But, anything CAN BE reduced to anything else if one applies measurement. To me, that is the basis of quantification. It enables reduction not because the qualities reduced ARE the quanta they are reduced to - they always exceed that - but rather because they are capable of being reduced.
I've thought less how quantities are retranslated into qualities. Does it require decision-making? Does it require taking quantities as information to intervene in qualities?
Anyway, just some early Friday musings.