David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (3):414-432 (2006)
As an aspiring science in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, psychology pursued quantification. A problem was that degrees of psychological attributes were experienced only as greater than, less than, or equal to one another. They were categorised as intensive magnitudes. The meaning of this concept was shifting, from that of an attribute possessing underlying quantitative structure to that of a merely ordinal attribute . This fluidity allowed psychologists to claim that their attributes were intensive magnitudes and measurable . This claim was supported by an argument that order entails quantity. As adapted by psychometricians, the argument was that if an attribute is ordered, then the differences between its degrees are quantitative and, therefore, measurable. However, in a paper ignored in psychology for six decades, the issue was resolved mathematically and the resolution implies that the psychometricians’ argument was fallacious
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Citations of this work BETA
Katharina T. Kraus (2013). Quantifying Inner Experience?—Kant's Mathematical Principles in the Context of Empirical Psychology. European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4).
Martin Junge & Rainer Reisenzein (2013). Indirect Scaling Methods for Testing Quantitative Emotion Theories. Cognition and Emotion 27 (7):1247-1275.
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