News

In this paper, I introduce a novel approach to a problem that is, in the dominant literature, often thought to admit of only a partial solution. The problem of quantity is the problem of explaining why it is that certain properties and relations that we encounter in science and in everyday life, can be best represented using mathematical entities l...

MeasurementSymposium

Much recent philosophical attention has been given to the concept of validity in psychometrics (Alexandrova 2017; Angner 2013; McClimans 2010). By contrast, the question of whether and when a psychometric instrument is fit for its intended purpose has been largely neglected. Here we argue that fitness for purpose is a distinct feature of a psychome...

MeasurementSymposium

Although measurement is widespread across the human sciences, the reliability of measurement in these disciplines is often contested. Philosophers of science have developed conceptual models for how measurement practice progresses in the natural sciences, highlighting in particular the virtuous co-development of theoretical understanding and measur...

MeasurementSymposium

Philosophers and metrologists have refuted the view that measurement’s epistemic privilege in scientific practice is explained by its theory-neutrality. Rather, they now explicitly appeal to the role that theories play in measurement. I formulate a challenge for this view: scientists sometimes ascribe epistemic privilege to measurements even if t...

MeasurementContributed Papers

In recent years, more and more authors have called attention to the fact that the theoretical foundations of psychology are shaky. This has led to a lively debate on the “theory crisis” in psychology, which is argued to be more fundamental than the replication crisis that has received much more attention. In this talk, I first consider why ther...

MeasurementSymposium

Inequality measurements are widely used by scientists and policy makers. Social scientists use them to analyze the global distribution of income and trends over time. In policymaking, inequality measurements contribute to inform redistributive policies at national level, and to set the agenda for international development and foreign aid. Inequalit...

MeasurementSymposium

Whether widely used measures in the human sciences—e.g., measures of intelligence, happiness, empowerment, depression, etc.—count as quantitative remains a battlefront. Practitioners commonly analyze their data assuming that their measures are quantitative, but many methodologists reject this presupposition. Other authors acknowledge that curre...

MeasurementSymposium

Representation and IdealizationPoster

Measurement of subjective animal welfare creates a special problem in validating the measurement indicators. Validation is required to ensure indicators are measuring the intended target state, and not some other object. While indicators can usually be validated through looking for correlation between target and indicator under controlled manipulat...

MeasurementContributed Papers

The Representational Theory of Measurement (RTM) offers a formal theory of measurement, with measurement understood as a homomorphic mapping between two types of structure: an empirical relational structure on the one hand, and a numerical structure on the other. These two types of structure are characterised axiomatically, as sets with certain rel...

MeasurementSymposium

In contemporary philosophy of measurement prominent philosophers (van Fraassen 2008; Chang 2004; Tal 2011) have explicitly or implicitly recognized the role the hermeneutic circle plays in measurement. Specifically, they have recognized its role in what is sometimes referred to as the “coordination problem”. Yet in these accounts the hermeneuti...

MeasurementSymposium

Non-discrete quantities such as mass and length are often assumed to be real-valued. Rational-valued measurement outcomes are typically thought of as approximations of the `real' values of their target quantity-instances. For example, the representational theory of measurement (RTM) models measurement as the construction of a function that sends a ...

MeasurementSymposium

Quantities are central to a number of important facets of scientific practice. They are the properties over which our theories generalize, and which many of our experiments provide measurements of. Our contemporary understanding of quantities stems in large part from the Representational Theory of Measurement (RTM). Perhaps the central achievement ...

MeasurementSymposium

This paper examines the importance of the concept of magnitude to the philosophy of measurement. Until the mid-twentieth century, magnitude was a central concept in theories of measurement, including those of Kant (1781 A162/B203), Helmholtz (1887), Hölder (1901), Russell (1903, Chapter XIX), Campbell (1920) and Nagel (1931). In the 1950s, the con...

MeasurementSymposium