Beyond the representational viewpoint: a new formalization of measurement

Measurement 27 (2):71-84 (2000)
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Abstract

The paper introduces and formally defines a functional concept of a measuring system, on this basis characterizing the measurement as an evaluation performed by means of a calibrated measuring system. The distinction between exact and uncertain measurement is formalized in terms of the properties of the traceability chain joining the measuring system to the primary standard. The consequence is drawn that uncertain measurements lose the property of relation-preservation, on which the very concept of measurement is founded according to the representational viewpoint. Finally, from the analysis of the inter-relations between calibration and measurement the fundamental reasons of the claimed objectivity and intersubjectivity of measurement are highlighted, a valuable epistemological result to characterize measurement as a particular kind of evaluation.

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