Philosophical Studies 176 (4):853-878 (2019)

Eran Tal
McGill University
When discrepancies are discovered between the outcomes of different measurement procedures, two sorts of explanation are open to scientists. Either some of the outcomes are inaccurate or the procedures are not measuring the same quantity. I argue that, due to the possibility of systematic error, the choice between and is underdetermined in principle by any possible evidence. Consequently, foundationalist criteria of quantity individuation are either empty or circular. I propose a coherentist, model-based account of measurement that avoids the underdetermination problem, and use this account to explain how scientists individuate quantities in practice.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-018-1216-2
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References found in this work BETA

Galilean Idealization.Ernan McMullin - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):247.
Philosophy of Natural Science.Carl G. Hempel - 1967 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18 (1):70-72.

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The Comparison of Inequality Measurements Across Countries and Time.Alessandra Basso - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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