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Title: Some foundational problems in the theory of measurement
Author: Horton, Roderyck John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3581 968X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1986
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The thesis deals with certain aspects of the correspondence between objects and numbers that is exploited in measurement. Thera are two main areas of investigation. The first is to do with the construction of scales of measurement, with major emphasis on extensive measurement in physical sciences. The discussion includes examination of (a) the distinction between those features of scales that are determined by the nature of measurement and those that are determined conventionally, and (b) the role of constraints imposed by characteristics of the objects being measured and constraints imposed by the measurement operations. Then is a treatment of experimental error and the limits this sits to our knowledge of the structure of physical systems. The view that extensive scales are designed for counting is considered. The second area relates to the mismatch between empirical relations among physical objects and relations among numbers to which the former are supposed to correspond, a mismatch due to the fact that there are fundamental constraints on the extent to which physical objects can be manipulated for operational purposes. Consequential problems in formal theories of measurement are identified in the thesis, and some new formal structures to accommodate them are proposed. Material believed to be novel include (i) some aspects of the treatment of random error (Chapter 2), (ii) some arguments about the conventionality of scales, the relation to counting, and some discussion of counterarguments due to Ellis (Chapter 3), dii) a suggestion about the classification of scales (Chapter 4), and (iv) the development of certain formal structures, in particular the structures of Definitions 5.4, 6.6. 6.7, 7.3 and 7.13 (Chapters 5, 6 and 7). The development of Definitions 6.6 and 6.7 includes some treatment of the problem of systematic error.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General)