The origins of the representational theory of measurement: Helmholtz, Hölder, and Russell

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (2):185-206 (1993)
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Abstract

It has become customary to locate the origins of modern measurement theory in the works of Helmholtz and Hölder. If by ‘modern measurement theory’ is meant the representational theory, then this may not be an accurate assessment. Both Helmholtz and Hölder present theories of measurement which are closely related to the classical conception of measurement. Indeed, Hölder can be interpreted as bringing this conception to fulfilment in a synthesis of Euclid, Newton, and Dedekind. The first explicitly representational theory appears to have been Russell's. He rejected the traditional concept of quantity and its connection to number, making the use of number in quantitative science problematical. He solved the problem via representationalism.

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References found in this work

The Metaphysics of Quantity.Brent Mundy - 1987 - Philosophical Studies 51 (1):29 - 54.
A Set of Independent Axioms for Extensive Quantities.Patrick Suppes - 1951 - Portugaliae Mathematica 10 (4):163-172.
The Nature of Number.Peter Forrest & D. M. Armstrong - 1987 - Philosophical Papers 16 (3):165-186.
A Theory of Measurement.Herbert Dingle - 1950 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 1 (1):5-26.

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