David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 28 (2):178-203 (1961)
The paper aims to put certain basic mathematical elements and operations into an empirical perspective, evaluate the empirical status of various analytic operations widely used within psychology and suggest alternatives to procedures criticized as inadequate. Experimentation shows the "manyness" of items to be a perceptual quality for both young children and animals and that natural operations are performed by naive children analogous to those performed by persons tutored in arithmetic. Number, counting, arithmetic operations therefore can make distinctions that are not inevitably arbitrary, and conceptual operations can obviously have a status as natural events with psychology. If the elements and conceptual operations involved in mathematical systems were not inherent in physiological process, various primitive discriminations could not be possible. Also, since some calculi have a natural status in a given empirical circumstance, the axioms of others can not be satisfied. Therefore the psychologist when acting as an empirical scientist seeks a calculus having a structure whose elements are isomorphic with natural units of stimulus and response and whose operations are isomorphic with whatever natural processes are involved. Measurement poses a special problem for the empirical scientist. It concerns but a single class of natural qualities and this only in a limited way. The concept of quantity has a natural counterpart but quantity and measurement are not wholly analogous. Measurement is defined, as H. S. Leonard suggests, as a theoretical activity. Measurement theory has a formal structure but empirical end. Measurement hypothesizes about the position of a particular quality within a definite range of qualities. It therefore is beholden to definite empirical restrictions. Some hypotheses-making systems use terms and relations per se as the context and starting point for dealing with discriminable events. Such procedures are 'transcendent." In empirical science, questions are part of problem-solving activity and their reference is naturally restricted. In providing description and explanation, psychological researchers frequently use calculi in a transcendent way. This results in theories that are only quasi-empirical and "half" true. The roles measurement plays in psychology are discussed. Of particular concern are those cases in which the results of measuring or a theory of measurement are used to define the "real" units, or the "real" relations involved in problematic psychological events, and thence to describe and explain behaviors of interest. Metaphysical or ontological usages of measurement sometimes occur. The implication of these arguments with regard to a view of empirical science is discussed
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Sarah T. Boysen (1988). Kanting Processes in the Chimpanzee: What (and Who) Really Counts? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):580.
Richard F. Braaten (1988). Protocounting as a Last Resort. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):581.
Richard A. Burns (1988). Subitizing and Rhythm in Serial Numerical Investigations with Animals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):581.
E. J. Capaldi & Daniel J. Miller (1988). A Different View of Numerical Processes in Animals. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):582.
Bernadette Chauvin (1988). Human Infants Are Perhaps Not so Gifted After All. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):583.
Similar books and articles
Brent Mundy (1988). Extensive Measurement and Ratio Functions. Synthese 75 (1):1 - 23.
Zoltan Domotor & Vadim Batitsky (2008). The Analytic Versus Representational Theory of Measurement: A Philosophy of Science Perspective. Measurement Science Review 8 (6):129-146.
Reinhard Niederée (1992). What Do Numbers Measure? A New Approach to Fundamental Measurement. Mathematical Social Sciences 24:237-276.
Luca Mari (2003). Epistemology of Measurement. Measurement 34 (1):17-30.
Henry E. Kyburg (ed.) (1984). Theory and Measurement. Cambridge University Press.
Louis Narens (1974). Measurement Without Archimedean Axioms. Philosophy of Science 41 (4):374-393.
Luca Mari (2005). The Problem of Foundations of Measurement. Measurement 38 (4):259-266.
Luca Mari (2000). Beyond the Representational Viewpoint: A New Formalization of Measurement. Measurement 27 (2):71-84.
Aldo Frigerio, Alessandro Giordani & Luca Mari (2010). Outline of a General Model of Measurement. Synthese 175 (2):123-149.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3 ( #223,982 of 1,088,426 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,426 )
How can I increase my downloads?