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Title: A study in empirical knowledge : the preconditions and structure of measurement
Author: Harvey, Maurice Edward Matheson
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1982
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This is an epistemological study, in which measure ment is taken as a paradigm of perceptual recognition---a notion in which perception is joined with judgment as a factor in understanding. Hence it has proved necessary to give an analysis of such recognition in general, with metric contexts as a special case. This has been done in terms of a very weak fundamental form of 'theory', as a form of basic comprehension, in which language (as part of the theories analysed) is not essentially involved, but treated as a special development. One type of theory is given thorough formal analysis: those 'recognitive theories' whose elements are taken, in the theory itself, to be recognized directly from perception, or extrapolated as in principle recognizable. Another type consists of 'substantive theories', seen as constructed to provide deeper understanding of the reality underlying recognized structures, but essentially involving elements not taken to be recognizable: this type receivesonly informal treatment, in terms of its associations with the first (especially in measurement). Special consideration is (unusually) given to attention and neglect,not in psychological terms, but as theory-guided selection from total experience. Neglect is seen not merely as negation of attention, but often a positive strategy (in measurement, strictly determined). Part I introduces the basic concepts, distinguishing the general approach from other relevant traditionsfoundational studies in measurement (Suppes et al.); linguistic analysis; some epistemologies (e.g., Goodman); philosophy of science. Part II sets up the formal analysis. Part III applies this analysis to contexts of measurement, with examples (only distance is fully treated others only in synopsis). Probability assessment is analysed as distinct from measurement. Part IV examines consequences for wider philosophical questions: language-based problems of knowledge and meaning; Wittgenstein's 'private language': and theory-based considerations of ontology; identity; truth, falsity and error; and observation in science.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Epistemology