Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Presents
THE PARADOX OF REPRESENTATIONAL MEASUREMENT Joel Michell
12/12/18, 3:30 PM
About this event
THE PARADOX OF REPRESENTATIONAL MEASUREMENTJoel Michell
University of Sydney, Faculty of Science
That area of philosophy of science called “measurement theory”, “philosophy of measurement” or “logic of measurement”, arose late in the nineteenth century in response to two causes: scientistic attempts to extend the practice of measurement to attributes postulated by psychologists; and a modernist push to redefine mathematics as a freestanding body of knowledge independent of the empirical world. The result was representational conceptions of measurement (whereby measurement is understood as mappings between empirical structures and numerical structures (e.g., Krantz, et al., 1971; Suppes, et al., 1989; & Luce, et al., 1990)) replaced traditional, Euclidean conceptions (whereby measurement is understood as estimation of real numbers (ratios between magnitudes and units) (exemplified by Hölder, 1901)). The former “remains the most influential mathematical theory of measurement to date” (Tal, 2017). I argue that representational theories entail a paradox: numerical structures are both non-empirical and empirical. Resolving this paradox reinstates the traditional conception (Michell, 1997) and along with it an Aristotelian, realist conception of number (Franklin, 2014).
This public lecture is free, no registration is required.
Contact: Janet McKernan email@example.com 612-625-6635
- N219 Elliott Hall
- 75 E River Rd
- Minneapolis MN
- USA - United States