David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Nursing Philosophy 11 (2):112-126 (2010)
The attribution of beliefs and other propositional attitudes is best understood as a form of measurement, however counter-intuitive this may seem. Measurement theory does not require that the thing measured should be a magnitude, or that the calibration of the measuring instrument should be numerical. It only requires a homomorphism between the represented domain and the representing domain. On this basis, maps measure parts of the world, usually geographical locations, and 'belief' statements measure other parts of the world, namely people's aptitudes. Having outlined an argument for this view, I deal with an obvious objection to it: that self-attribution of belief cannot be an exercise in measurement, because we are all aware, from introspection, that our beliefs have an intrinsically semantic form. Subsequently, I turn to the philosophical and methodological ramifications of the measurement theoretic view. I argue, first, that it undermines at least one version of constructivism and, second, that it provides an effective alternative to the residually Cartesian philosophy that underpins much qualitative research. Like other anti-Cartesian strategies, belief-attribution-as-measurement implies that the objective world is far more knowable than the subjective one, and that reality is ontologically prior to meaning. I regard this result as both plausible and welcome.
|Keywords||philosophy of science qualitative research subjective experience social constructionism epistemology methodology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Robert Audi (1993). The Structure of Justification. Cambridge University Press.
William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen (2002). Connectionism and the Mind: Parallel Processing, Dynamics, and Evolution in Networks. Wiley-Blackwell.
Peter Carruthers (2009). How We Know Our Own Minds: The Relationship Between Mindreading and Metacognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):121.
Patricia S. Churchland (1986). Neurophilosophy: Toward A Unified Science of the Mind-Brain. MIT Press.
Paul M. Churchland (1981). Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes. Journal of Philosophy 78 (February):67-90.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Luca Mari & Sergio Sartori (2007). A Relational Theory of Measurement: Traceability as a Solution to the Non-Transitivity of Measurement Results. Measurement 40 (2):233-242.
Louis Narens (1974). Measurement Without Archimedean Axioms. Philosophy of Science 41 (4):374-393.
Eli Dresner (2006). A Measurement Theoretic Account of Propositions. Synthese 153 (1):1 - 22.
Luca Mari (2005). The Problem of Foundations of Measurement. Measurement 38 (4):259-266.
Aldo Frigerio, Alessandro Giordani & Luca Mari (2010). Outline of a General Model of Measurement. Synthese 175 (2):123-149.
Luca Mari (2003). Epistemology of Measurement. Measurement 34 (1):17-30.
Reinhard Niederée (1992). What Do Numbers Measure? A New Approach to Fundamental Measurement. Mathematical Social Sciences 24:237-276.
Luca Mari (2000). Beyond the Representational Viewpoint: A New Formalization of Measurement. Measurement 27 (2):71-84.
Robert J. Matthews (2007/2010). The Measure of Mind: Propositional Attitudes and Their Attribution. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2010-03-09
Total downloads14 ( #109,791 of 1,096,620 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #71,259 of 1,096,620 )
How can I increase my downloads?