About this topic
Summary Measurement is a fundamental empirical process aimed at acquiring and codifying information about an entity, the object or system under measurement. This process is commonly interpreted in functional terms as a production process, accomplished by means of a measurement system, whose input is the system under measurement and whose output is a piece of information, the property value, about a certain instance of a general property of that system, the measurand. As a consequence, the central problem concerning the definition of measurement turns into the one of characterizing the just mentioned process. When an empirical general property is specified, any system under measurement can be viewed as a member of a class of systems characterized by that property. When provided with a set of relations between its elements, this class is called an empirical relational system and measurement can be conceived of as a mapping assigning numbers to elements of this system in such a way that the relations between these elements are preserved by relations between numbers in a numerical relational system. This is the model underlying the so-called representational theory of measurement, considered nowadays the standard measurement theory. According to this model to measure is to construct a representation of an empirical system to a numerical system, under the hypothesis that relations in the empirical system are somehow observable. The model has many merits, but it is also subject to many problems. In particular, the crucial drawback is given by the difficulty of linking the proposed conception of measurement with the way in which measurement is accounted for from a metrological point of view, specifically the point of view underlying the International Vocabulary of Metrology. Hence, the debate concerning the characterization of measurement is still open, where the principal task consists in defining a general model aiming at (i) providing a sound interpretation of measurement as structured process; (ii) identifying the ontological conditions to be fulfilled for measurement to be possible; (iii) identifying the epistemic conditions to be fulfilled for measurement results to be able to justify empirical assertions.
Key works The representational theory of measurement has its roots in the work of Scott and Suppes 1958 and has found its more extensive exposition in the three volumes of the Foundations of Measurement (1971, 1989, 1990), but see also Roberts 1985, for a more friendly presentation, and Narens 1985. The metrological standpoint is summarized in the International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM). For a problematization of the representational theory see Domotor et al. 2008, where an analytical approach to measurement is developed, and Frigerio et al. 2010, where a synthesis between the representional approach and the metrological approach is proposed.
Introductions See Suppes 2002 for a general introduction to the representational standpoint.
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  1. Testing for Implicit Bias: Values, Psychometrics, and Science Communication.Nick Byrd & Morgan Thompson - manuscript
    Our understanding of implicit bias and how to measure it has yet to be settled. Various debates between cognitive scientists are unresolved. Moreover, the public’s understanding of implicit bias tests continues to lag behind cognitive scientists’. These discrepancies pose potential problems. After all, a great deal of implicit bias research has been publicly funded. Further, implicit bias tests continue to feature in discourse about public- and private-sector policies surrounding discrimination, inequality, and even the purpose of science. We aim to do (...)
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  2. Is Simulation a Substitute for Experimentation?Isabelle Peschard - manuscript
    It is sometimes said that simulation can serve as epistemic substitute for experimentation. Such a claim might be suggested by the fast-spreading use of computer simulation to investigate phenomena not accessible to experimentation (in astrophysics, ecology, economics, climatology, etc.). But what does that mean? The paper starts with a clarification of the terms of the issue and then focuses on two powerful arguments for the view that simulation and experimentation are ‘epistemically on a par’. One is based on the claim (...)
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  3. Psychometric Origins of Depression.Susan McPherson & David Armstrong - forthcoming - History of the Human Sciences:095269512110090.
    This article examines the historical construction of depression over about a hundred years, employing the social life of methods as an explanatory framework. Specifically, it considers how emerging methodologies in the measurement of psychological constructs contributed to changes in epistemological approaches to mental illness and created the conditions of possibility for major shifts in the construction of depression. While depression was once seen as a feature of psychotic personality, measurement technologies made it possible for it to be reconstructed as changeable (...)
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  4. Calibration in Consciousness Science.Matthias Michel - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    To study consciousness, scientists need to determine when participants are conscious and when they are not. They do so with consciousness detection procedures. A recurring skeptical argument against those procedures is that they cannot be calibrated: there is no way to make sure that detection outcomes are accurate. In this article, I address two main skeptical arguments purporting to show that consciousness scientists cannot calibrate detection procedures. I conclude that there is nothing wrong with calibration in consciousness science.
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  5. The Epistemology of Measurement: Representational and Technological Dimensions.Nicola Moeßner & Alfred Nordmann (eds.) - forthcoming - Chatto & Pickering.
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  6. Visions Visualised? On the Evidential Status of Scientific Visualisations.Nicola Mößner - forthcoming - In Erna Fiorentini (ed.), On Visualization. A Multicentric Critique beyond Infographics. Berlin et al.:
    ‘Visualisations play an important role in science’, this seems to be an uncontroversial statement today. Scientists not only use visual representations as means to communicate their research results in publications or talks, but also often as surrogates for their objects of interest during the process of research. Thus, we can make a distinction between two contexts of usage here, namely the explanatory and the exploratory context. The focus of this paper is on the latter one. Obviously, using visualisations as surrogates (...)
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  7. Measurement in Science.F. N. L. Poynter - forthcoming - History of Science.
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  8. Values in Psychometrics.Lisa D. Wijsen, Denny Borsboom & Anna Alexandrova - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    When it originated in the late 19th century, psychometrics was a field with both a scientific and a social mission: psychometrics provided new methods for research into individual differences, and at the same time, these psychometric instruments were considered a means to create a new social order. In contrast, contemporary psychometrics - due to its highly technical nature and its limited involvement in substantive psychological research - has created the impression of being a value-free discipline. In this article, we develop (...)
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  9. Mapping Kinds in GIS and Cartography.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - forthcoming - In Catherine Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge. pp. 197-216.
    Geographic Information Science (GIS) is an interdisciplinary science aiming to detect and visually represent patterns in spatial data. GIS is used by businesses to determine where to open new stores and by conservation biologists to identify field study locations with relatively little anthropogenic influence. Products of GIS include topographic and thematic maps of the Earth’s surface, climate maps, and spatially referenced demographic graphs and charts. In addition to its social, political, and economic importance, GIS is of intrinsic philosophical interest due (...)
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  10. Kant’s Functional Cosmology: Teleology, Measurement, and Symbolic Representation in the Critique of Judgment.Silvia De Bianchi - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (1):209-224.
    In the 1780s Kant’s critique of rational cosmology clearly identified the limits of theoretical cosmology in agreement with the doctrine of transcendental idealism of space and time. However, what seems to be less explored, and remains still a desideratum for the literature, is a thorough investigation of the implications of transcendental philosophy for Kant’s view of cosmology in the 1790s. This contribution fills this gap by investigating Kant’s view of teleology and measurement in the Critique of Judgment, exploring their implications (...)
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  11. Why “Sex as a Biological Variable” Conflicts with Precision Medicine Initiatives.Marina DiMarco, Helen Zhao & Marion Boulicault - 2022 - Cell Reports Medicine 10050 (3):1-3.
    Policies that require male-female sex comparisons in all areas of biomedical research conflict with the goal of improving health outcomes through context-sensitive individualization of medical care. Sex, like race, requires a rigorous, contextual approach in precision medicine. A “sex contextualist” approach to gender-inclusive medicine better aligns with this aim.
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  12. Real Quantitativeness: What Formal Investigations Can(Not) Show. [REVIEW]Derek Lam - 2022 - Metascience 31 (1):125-128.
    Review: J. E. Wolff. The metaphysics of quantity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. 240 pp, $72.00 HB.
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  13. Safety, Evidence, and Epistemic Luck.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (1):121-134.
    This paper critically explores Timothy Williamson’s view of evidence, and it does so in light of the problem of epistemic luck. Williamson’s view of evidence is, of course, a crucially important aspect of his novel and influential “knowledge-first” epistemological project. Notoriously, one crucial thesis of this project is that one’s evidence is equivalent to what one knows. This has come to be known as the E = K thesis. This paper specifically addresses Williamson’s knowledge-first epistemology and the E = K (...)
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  14. Continuing After Species: An Afterword.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - In John S. Wilkins, Igor Pavlinov & Frank Zachos (eds.), Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. New York: Routledge.
    This afterword to Species and Beyond provides some reflections on species, with special attention to what I think the most significant developments have been in the thinking of biologists and philosophers working on species over the past 25 years, as well as some bad jokes.
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  15. Democratising Measurement: Or Why Thick Concepts Call for Coproduction.Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-23.
    Thick concepts, namely those concepts that describe and evaluate simultaneously, present a challenge to science. Since science does not have a monopoly on value judgments, what is responsible research involving such concepts? Using measurement of wellbeing as an example, we first present the options open to researchers wishing to study phenomena denoted by such concepts. We argue that while it is possible to treat these concepts as technical terms, or to make the relevant value judgment in-house, the responsible thing to (...)
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  16. Measuring the Present: What is the Duration of ‘Now’?Brittany A. Gentry - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9357-9371.
    Presentists argue that only the present is real. In this paper, I ask what duration the present has on a presentist’s account. While several answers are available, each of them requires the adoption of a measure and, with that adoption, additional work must be done to define the present. Whether presentists conclude that a reductionist account of duration is acceptable, that duration is not an applicable concept for their notion of the present, that the present has a duration of zero, (...)
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  17. Quantifications of the Secondary Qualities, Heat and Cold, on the Earliest Scales of Thermoscopes.Albrecht Heeffer - 2021 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (6):562-593.
    While scaled thermoscopes were developed only at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the medical tradition had already started to quantify some secondary qualities towards the end of sixteenth century. However, degrees of heat and cold were only meaningful in connection with Galenic-Aristotelean ontology, consisting of elements, temperaments and degrees of the four humours. The first graduated thermoscopes transformed the prevailing conceptualizations of heat and cold. By delegating some specific senses of heat and cold to an external contrivance, together with (...)
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  18. What is an Animal Personality?Marie I. Kaiser & Caroline Müller - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-25.
    Individuals of many animal species are said to have a personality. It has been shown that some individuals are bolder than other individuals of the same species, or more sociable or more aggressive. In this paper, we analyse what it means to say that an animal has a personality. We clarify what an animal personality is, that is, its ontology, and how different personality concepts relate to each other, and we examine how personality traits are identified in biological practice. Our (...)
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  19. On Measurement Scales: Neither Ordinal Nor Interval?Cristian Larroulet Philippi - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):929-939.
    There is a received view on measurement scales. It includes both a classification of scales and a set of prescriptions regarding measurement inferences. This article casts doubt on the adequacy of this received view. To do this, I propose an epistemic characterization of the ordinal/interval distinction, that is, one in terms of researchers’ beliefs. This novel characterization reveals the ordinal/interval distinction as too coarse grained and thus the received view as too restrictive of a framework for measurement research.
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  20. Valid for What? On the Very Idea of Unconditional Validity.Cristian Larroulet Philippi - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (2):151–175.
    What is a valid measuring instrument? Recent philosophy has attended to logic of justification of measures, such as construct validation, but not to the question of what it means for an instrument to be a valid measure of a construct. A prominent approach grounds validity in the existence of a causal link between the attribute and its detectable manifestations. Some of its proponents claim that, therefore, validity does not depend on pragmatics and research context. In this paper, I cast doubt (...)
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  21. How Incoherent Measurement Succeeds: Coordination and Success in the Measurement of the Earth's Polar Flattening.Miguel Ohnesorge - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:245-262.
    The development of nineteenth-century geodetic measurement challenges the dominant coherentist account of measurement success. Coherentists argue that measurements of a quantity are epistemically successful if their numerical outcomes converge across varying contextual constraints. Aiming at numerical convergence, in turn, offers an operational aim for scientists to solve problems of coordination. Geodesists faced such a problem of coordination between two indicators of the earth’s ellipticity, which were both based on imperfect ellipsoid models. While not achieving numerical convergence, their measurements produced novel (...)
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  22. Theodolites at 20000 Feet: Justifying Precision Measurement During the Trigonometrical Survey of Kashmir.Miguel Ohnesorge - 2021 - Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science 4 (75).
    This paper reconstructs the history of the trigonometrical surveying of Kashmir from 1855 to 1865. It highlights the strategies through which surveyors had to justify the employment of high-precision instruments and methods in Himalayan terrain. Only by tediously manipulating their institutional environment in India and Britain did the staff of the Kashmir survey manage to complete its operations in light of constant financial and physical hardship. To sustain their measurements, surveyors aligned themselves with various political projects, entertaining and shifting allegiances (...)
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  23. How Uncertainty Can Save Measurement From Circularity and Holism.Sophie Ritson & Kent Staley - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:155-165.
  24. Phrenology and the Average Person, 1840–1940.Fenneke Sysling - 2021 - History of the Human Sciences 34 (2):27-45.
    The popular science of phrenology is known for its preoccupation with geniuses and criminals, but this article shows that phrenologists also introduced ideas about the ‘average’ person. Popular phrenologists in the US and the UK examined the heads of their clients to give an indication of their character. Based on the publications of phrenologists and on a large collection of standardized charts with clients’ scores, this article analyses their definition of what they considered to be the ‘average’. It can be (...)
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  25. Beyond the Metrological Viewpoint.Jean Baccelli - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 1:56-61.
    The representational theory of measurement has long been the central paradigm in the philosophy of measurement. Such is not the case anymore, partly under the influence of the critique according to which RTM offers too poor descriptions of the measurement procedures actually followed in science. This can be called the metrological critique of RTM. I claim that the critique is partly irrelevant. This is because, in general, RTM is not in the business of describing measurement procedures, be it in idealized (...)
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  26. Understanding Scientific Types: Holotypes, Stratotypes, and Measurement Prototypes.Alisa Bokulich - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (5):1-28.
    At the intersection of taxonomy and nomenclature lies the scientific practice of typification. This practice occurs in biology with the use of holotypes (type specimens), in geology with the use of stratotypes, and in metrology with the use of measurement prototypes. In this paper I develop the first general definition of a scientific type and outline a new philosophical theory of types inspired by Pierre Duhem. I use this general framework to resolve the necessity-contingency debate about type specimens in philosophy (...)
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  27. Understanding Implicit Bias: Putting the Criticism Into Perspective.Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):276-307.
  28. The Multiple Dimensions of Multiple Determination.Klodian Coko - 2020 - Perspectives on Science 28 (4):505-541.
    Multiple determination is the epistemic strategy of establishing the same result by means of multiple, independent procedures. It is an important strategy praised by both philosophers of science and practicing scientists. Despite the heavy appeal to multiple determination, little analysis has been provided regarding the specific grounds upon which its epistemic virtues rest. This article distinguishes between the various dimensions of multiple determination and shows how they can be used to evaluate the epistemic force of the strategy in particular cases. (...)
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  29. Experiments in the Making: Instruments and Forms of Quantification in Francis Bacon’s Historia Densi Et Rari.Dana Jalobeanu - 2020 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (4):360-387.
    The Historia densi et rari, published posthumously in 1658, is probably Francis Bacon’s most complex natural and experimental history. It contains observations and experimental reports, quantitative estimates and tables, and theoretical and methodological considerations, in a structure which has never been fully investigated. I provide here a fresh reading of this text from the perspective of scientific practices. I claim that Historia densi et rari represents a quantitative and instrumental investigation assembled with the help of Bacon’s philosophy of experiment as (...)
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  30. Measurement Perspective, Process, and the Pandemic.Vadim Keyser & Hannah Howland - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    This discussion centers on two desiderata: the role of measurement in information-gathering and physical interaction in scientific practice. By taking inspiration from van Fraassen’s view, we present a methodological account of perspectival measurement that addresses empirical practice where there is complex intervention, disagreeing results, and limited theory. The specific aim of our account is to provide a methodological prescription for developing measurement processes in the context of limited theory. The account should be useful to philosophers of science, who are interested (...)
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  31. From Successful Measurement to the Birth of a Law: Disentangling Coordination in Ohm's Scientific Practice.Michele Luchetti - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84:119-131.
    In this paper, I argue for a distinction between two scales of coordination in scientific inquiry, through which I reassess Georg Simon Ohm’s work on conductivity and resistance. Firstly, I propose to distinguish between measurement coordination, which refers to the specific problem of how to justify the attribution of values to a quantity by using a certain measurement procedure, and general coordination, which refers to the broader issue of justifying the representation of an empirical regularity by means of abstract mathematical (...)
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  32. Scientific Coordination Beyond the A Priori: A Three-Dimensional Account of Constitutive Elements in Scientific Practice.Michele Luchetti - 2020 - Dissertation, Central European University
    In this dissertation, I present a novel account of the components that have a peculiar epistemic role in our scientific inquiries, since they contribute to establishing a form of coordination. The issue of coordination is a classic epistemic problem concerning how we justify our use of abstract conceptual tools to represent concrete phenomena. For instance, how could we get to represent universal gravitation as a mathematical formula or temperature by means of a numerical scale? This problem is particularly pressing when (...)
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  33. The Fashionable Scientific Fraud: Collingwood’s Critique of Psychometrics.Joel Michell - 2020 - History of the Human Sciences 33 (2):3-21.
    In his review of Charles Spearman’s The Nature of ‘Intelligence’, R. G. Collingwood launched an attack upon psychometrics that was expanded in his Essay on Metaphysics. Although underrated by friend and foe alike, Collingwood’s critique identified a number of defects in the thinking of psychometricians that subsequently became entrenched. However, his main complaint was that psychology generally was a ‘fashionable scientific fraud’. This charge was inspired by his more general views on logic and metaphysics, which, however, as I argue, are (...)
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  34. A Medieval European Value for the Circumference of the Earth.C. Philipp E. Nothaft - 2020 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (2):135-151.
    Geographic and astronomical texts from late-medieval Central Europe frequently give 16 German miles, or miliaria teutonica, as the length of a degree of terrestrial latitude. The earliest identifiable author to endorse this equivalence is the Swabian astronomer Heinrich Selder, who wrote about the length of a degree and the circumference of the Earth on several occasions during the 1360s and 1370s. Of particular interest is his claim that he and certain unnamed experimentatores established their preferred value empirically. Based on an (...)
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  35. Aktiver Realismus und die Geltungsansprüche wissenschaftlicher Wahrheiten.Miguel Ohnesorge - 2020 - In Michael Jungert, Andres Frewer & Erasmus Mayr (eds.), Wissenschaftsreflexion: Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven zwischen Philosophie und Praxis. Paderborn, Deutschland:
    Author's summary: I discuss the lessons that scientific realism, understood as a thesis about the metaphysical, epistemological, and semantic interpretation of scientific theories, has to learn from the philosophy of scientific practice. The standard arguments for scientific realism are shown to be incompatible with a practice-based understanding of theories, as they fail short of offering operationally sound concepts of "truth" and "reality. " I propose Hasok Chang's Active Realism (AR) as a solution to this compatibility problem and defend it against (...)
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  36. Review of "Joseph Mazur: The Clock Mirage: Our Myth of Measured Time". [REVIEW]Miguel Ohnesorge - 2020 - Cleveland Review of Books 34.
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  37. Newton on Active and Passive Quantities of Matter.Adwait A. Parker - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84:1-11.
    Newton published his deduction of universal gravity in Principia (first ed., 1687). To establish the universality (the particle-to-particle nature) of gravity, Newton must establish the additivity of mass. I call ‘additivity’ the property a body's quantity of matter has just in case, if gravitational force is proportional to that quantity, the force can be taken to be the sum of forces proportional to each particle's quantity of matter. Newton's argument for additivity is obscure. I analyze and assess manuscript versions of (...)
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  38. Exploration and Experimentation on the Weight and Density of Substances in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries: Introduction.Cesare Pastorino - 2020 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (4):297-301.
  39. Johannes Kepler and the Exploration of the Weight of Substances in the Long Sixteenth Century.Cesare Pastorino - 2020 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (4):328-359.
    Numerous early modern experimentalists, including Galileo Galilei, Francis Bacon and Thomas Harriot, viewed one seemingly humble principle – that at a given volume, different substances can be identified by their particular weight, or specific gravity – as a fundamental key to the understanding of nature in general. Johannes Kepler’s Messekunst Archimedis of 1616 contains a striking summary of the experimental research on specific gravities in the long sixteenth-century. Counting himself amongst an extensive list of authors interested in this problem, Kepler (...)
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  40. Securing the Empirical Value of Measurement Results.Kent W. Staley - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):87-113.
    Reports of quantitative experimental results often distinguish between the statistical uncertainty and the systematic uncertainty that characterize measurement outcomes. This article discusses the practice of estimating systematic uncertainty in high-energy physics. The estimation of systematic uncertainty in HEP should be understood as a minimal form of quantitative robustness analysis. The secure evidence framework is used to explain the epistemic significance of robustness analysis. However, the empirical value of a measurement result depends crucially not only on the resulting systematic uncertainty estimate, (...)
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  41. Reply to Hawkins, Hassoun, and Arneson.Anna Alexandrova - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (4):537-544.
  42. Précis of A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being.Anna Alexandrova - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (4):509-511.
  43. What Do Implicit Measures Measure?Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2019 - WIREs Cognitive Science:1-13.
    We identify several ongoing debates related to implicit measures, surveying prominent views and considerations in each debate. First, we summarize the debate regarding whether performance on implicit measures is explained by conscious or unconscious representations. Second, we discuss the cognitive structure of the operative constructs: are they associatively or propositionally structured? Third, we review debates whether performance on implicit measures reflects traits or states. Fourth, we discuss the question of whether a person’s performance on an implicit measure reflects characteristics of (...)
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  44. On the Meaning of Measurement Uncertainty.Fabien Grégis - 2019 - Measurement 133:41-46.
    This article discusses the definitions of ‘‘measurement uncertainty” given in the three editions of the International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM) and a fourth definition which was suggested for the next edition of this document. It is argued that none of the definitions is satisfying. First, a thorough definition of measurement uncertainty should supply an explanation about the meaning of the concept, which is missing from the VIM2&3. Secondly, when provided, the meanings are not accurate enough: the VIM1 version is flawed (...)
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  45. Assessing Accuracy in Measurement: The Dilemma of Safety Versus Precision in the Adjustment of the Fundamental Physical Constants.Fabien Grégis - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 74:42-55.
    This article develops a historico-critical analysis of uncertainty and accuracy in measurement through a case-study of the adjustment of the fundamental physical constants, in order to investigate the sceptical “problem of unknowability” undermining realist accounts of measurement. Every scientific result must include a “measurement uncertainty”, but uncertainty cannot be be eval- uated against the unknown, and therefore cannot be taken as an assessment of “accuracy”, defined in the metrological vocabulary as the closeness to the truth. The way scientists use and (...)
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  46. Towards a Logic of Epistemic Theory of Measurement.Daniele Porello & Claudio Macolo - 2019 - In Gabor Bella & Paolo Bouquet (eds.), Modeling and Using Context - 11th International and Interdisciplinary Conference, {CONTEXT} 2019, Trento, Italy, November 20-22, 2019, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 11939. pp. 175-188.
    We propose a logic to reason about data collected by a num- ber of measurement systems. The semantic of this logic is grounded on the epistemic theory of measurement that gives a central role to measure- ment devices and calibration. In this perspective, the lack of evidences (in the available data) for the truth or falsehood of a proposition requires the introduction of a third truth-value (the undetermined). Moreover, the data collected by a given source are here represented by means (...)
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  47. Time on a Tablet: Early Ivory Sundials Incorporating Wax Writing Tablets.Roland Schewe & John Davis - 2019 - Early Science and Medicine 24 (3):213-247.
    This article offers the first comprehensive study of a newly discovered type of medieval sundial made of ivory which might well be the precursor of the well-known diptych dial form made from ivory and wood. These sundials are unique for the combination with a wax writing tablet on the reverse side, such as has been deployed as a reusable and portable writing surface in Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages. Three previously unpublished examples of this type of sundial have been (...)
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  48. Mapping the Deep Blue Oceans.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2019 - In Timothy Tambassi (ed.), The Philosophy of GIS. pp. 99-123.
    The ocean terrain spanning the globe is vast and complex—far from an immense flat plain of mud. To map these depths accurately and wisely, we must understand how cartographic abstraction and generalization work both in analog cartography and digital GIS. This chapter explores abstraction practices such as selection and exaggeration with respect to mapping the oceans, showing significant continuity in such practices across cartography and contemporary GIS. The role of measurement and abstraction—as well as of political and economic power, and (...)
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  49. Can the Science of Well-Being Be Objective?Anna Alexandrova - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):421-445.
    Well–being, health and freedom are some of the many phenomena of interest to science whose definitions rely on a normative standard. Empirical generalizations about them thus present a special case of value-ladenness. I propose the notion of a ‘mixed claim’ to denote such generalizations. Against the prevailing wisdom, I argue that we should not seek to eliminate them from science. Rather, we need to develop principles for their legitimate use. Philosophers of science have already reconciled values with objectivity in several (...)
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  50. Distance and Dissimilarity.Ben Blumson - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 48 (2):211-239.
    This paper considers whether an analogy between distance and dissimilarlity supports the thesis that degree of dissimilarity is distance in a metric space. A straightforward way to justify the thesis would be to define degree of dissimilarity as a function of number of properties in common and not in common. But, infamously, this approach has problems with infinity. An alternative approach would be to prove representation and uniqueness theorems, according to which if comparative dissimilarity meets certain qualitative conditions, then it (...)
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