Psychophysics, intensive magnitudes, and the psychometricians' fallacy

Abstract
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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 14,275
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Rayme E. Engel (1989). On Degrees. Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):23-37.

View all 15 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Lawrence A. Shapiro (1994). What is Psychophysics? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:47 - 57.
J. N. Findlay (1950). Linguistic Approach to Psychophysics. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 50:43-64.
Joel Marks (1988). When is a Fallacy Not a Fallacy? Metaphilosophy 19 (3‐4):307-312.
Julia Tanner (2006). The Naturalistic Fallacy. Richmond Journal of Philosophy 13.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-08-30

Total downloads

19 ( #135,870 of 1,700,362 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #269,935 of 1,700,362 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.