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  1. Is Simulation a Substitute for Experimentation?Isabelle Peschard - manuscript
    It is sometimes said that simulation can serve as epistemic substitute for experimentation. Such a claim might be suggested by the fast-spreading use of computer simulation to investigate phenomena not accessible to experimentation (in astrophysics, ecology, economics, climatology, etc.). But what does that mean? The paper starts with a clarification of the terms of the issue and then focuses on two powerful arguments for the view that simulation and experimentation are ‘epistemically on a par’. One is based on the claim (...)
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  2. Against Prohibition (Or, When Using Ordinal Scales to Compare Groups Is OK).Cristian Larroulet Philippi - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    There is a widely held view on measurement inferences, that goes back to Stevens’s ([1946]) theory of measurement scales and ‘permissible statistics’. This view defends the following prohibition: you should not make inferences from averages taken with ordinal scales (versus quantitative scales: interval or ratio). This prohibition is general—it applies to all ordinal scales—and it is sometimes endorsed without qualification. Adhering to it dramatically limits the research that the social and biomedical sciences can conduct. I provide a Bayesian analysis of (...)
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  3. Calibration in Consciousness Science.Matthias Michel - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    To study consciousness, scientists need to determine when participants are conscious and when they are not. They do so with consciousness detection procedures. A recurring skeptical argument against those procedures is that they cannot be calibrated: there is no way to make sure that detection outcomes are accurate. In this article, I address two main skeptical arguments purporting to show that consciousness scientists cannot calibrate detection procedures. I conclude that there is nothing wrong with calibration in consciousness science.
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  4. Visions Visualised? On the Evidential Status of Scientific Visualisations.Nicola Mößner - forthcoming - In Erna Fiorentini (ed.), On Visualization. A Multicentric Critique beyond Infographics. Berlin et al.:
    ‘Visualisations play an important role in science’, this seems to be an uncontroversial statement today. Scientists not only use visual representations as means to communicate their research results in publications or talks, but also often as surrogates for their objects of interest during the process of research. Thus, we can make a distinction between two contexts of usage here, namely the explanatory and the exploratory context. The focus of this paper is on the latter one. Obviously, using visualisations as surrogates (...)
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  5. Values in Psychometrics.Lisa D. Wijsen, Denny Borsboom & Anna Alexandrova - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    When it originated in the late 19th century, psychometrics was a field with both a scientific and a social mission: psychometrics provided new methods for research into individual differences, and at the same time, these psychometric instruments were considered a means to create a new social order. In contrast, contemporary psychometrics - due to its highly technical nature and its limited involvement in substantive psychological research - has created the impression of being a value-free discipline. In this article, we develop (...)
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  6. Mapping Kinds in GIS and Cartography.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - forthcoming - In Catherine Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge. pp. 197-216.
    Geographic Information Science (GIS) is an interdisciplinary science aiming to detect and visually represent patterns in spatial data. GIS is used by businesses to determine where to open new stores and by conservation biologists to identify field study locations with relatively little anthropogenic influence. Products of GIS include topographic and thematic maps of the Earth’s surface, climate maps, and spatially referenced demographic graphs and charts. In addition to its social, political, and economic importance, GIS is of intrinsic philosophical interest due (...)
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  7. Why “Sex as a Biological Variable” Conflicts with Precision Medicine Initiatives.Marina DiMarco, Helen Zhao & Marion Boulicault - 2022 - Cell Reports Medicine 10050 (3):1-3.
    Policies that require male-female sex comparisons in all areas of biomedical research conflict with the goal of improving health outcomes through context-sensitive individualization of medical care. Sex, like race, requires a rigorous, contextual approach in precision medicine. A “sex contextualist” approach to gender-inclusive medicine better aligns with this aim.
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  8. Real Quantitativeness: What Formal Investigations Can(Not) Show. [REVIEW]Derek Lam - 2022 - Metascience 31 (1):125-128.
    Review: J. E. Wolff. The metaphysics of quantity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020. 240 pp, $72.00 HB.
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  9. Safety, Evidence, and Epistemic Luck.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (1):121-134.
    This paper critically explores Timothy Williamson’s view of evidence, and it does so in light of the problem of epistemic luck. Williamson’s view of evidence is, of course, a crucially important aspect of his novel and influential “knowledge-first” epistemological project. Notoriously, one crucial thesis of this project is that one’s evidence is equivalent to what one knows. This has come to be known as the E = K thesis. This paper specifically addresses Williamson’s knowledge-first epistemology and the E = K (...)
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  10. Two Concepts of Belief Strength: Epistemic Confidence and Identity Centrality.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13:1-4.
    What does it mean to have “strong beliefs”? My thesis is that it can mean two very different things. That is, there are two distinct psychological features to which “strong belief” can refer, and these often come apart. I call the first feature epistemic confidence and the second identity centrality. They are conceptually distinct and, if we take ethnographies of religion seriously, distinct in fact as well. If that’s true, it’s methodologically important for the psychological sciences to have measures that (...)
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  11. Continuing After Species: An Afterword.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - In John S. Wilkins, Igor Pavlinov & Frank Zachos (eds.), Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. New York: Routledge. pp. 343-353.
    This afterword to Species and Beyond provides some reflections on species, with special attention to what I think the most significant developments have been in the thinking of biologists and philosophers working on species over the past 25 years, as well as some bad jokes.
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  12. Democratising Measurement: Or Why Thick Concepts Call for Coproduction.Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-23.
    Thick concepts, namely those concepts that describe and evaluate simultaneously, present a challenge to science. Since science does not have a monopoly on value judgments, what is responsible research involving such concepts? Using measurement of wellbeing as an example, we first present the options open to researchers wishing to study phenomena denoted by such concepts. We argue that while it is possible to treat these concepts as technical terms, or to make the relevant value judgment in-house, the responsible thing to (...)
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  13. What is an Animal Personality?Marie I. Kaiser & Caroline Müller - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-25.
    Individuals of many animal species are said to have a personality. It has been shown that some individuals are bolder than other individuals of the same species, or more sociable or more aggressive. In this paper, we analyse what it means to say that an animal has a personality. We clarify what an animal personality is, that is, its ontology, and how different personality concepts relate to each other, and we examine how personality traits are identified in biological practice. Our (...)
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  14. Valid for What? On the Very Idea of Unconditional Validity.Cristian Larroulet Philippi - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (2):151–175.
    What is a valid measuring instrument? Recent philosophy has attended to logic of justification of measures, such as construct validation, but not to the question of what it means for an instrument to be a valid measure of a construct. A prominent approach grounds validity in the existence of a causal link between the attribute and its detectable manifestations. Some of its proponents claim that, therefore, validity does not depend on pragmatics and research context. In this paper, I cast doubt (...)
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  15. Beyond the Metrological Viewpoint.Jean Baccelli - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 1:56-61.
    The representational theory of measurement has long been the central paradigm in the philosophy of measurement. Such is not the case anymore, partly under the influence of the critique according to which RTM offers too poor descriptions of the measurement procedures actually followed in science. This can be called the metrological critique of RTM. I claim that the critique is partly irrelevant. This is because, in general, RTM is not in the business of describing measurement procedures, be it in idealized (...)
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  16. Understanding Scientific Types: Holotypes, Stratotypes, and Measurement Prototypes.Alisa Bokulich - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (5):1-28.
    At the intersection of taxonomy and nomenclature lies the scientific practice of typification. This practice occurs in biology with the use of holotypes (type specimens), in geology with the use of stratotypes, and in metrology with the use of measurement prototypes. In this paper I develop the first general definition of a scientific type and outline a new philosophical theory of types inspired by Pierre Duhem. I use this general framework to resolve the necessity-contingency debate about type specimens in philosophy (...)
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  17. Understanding Implicit Bias: Putting the Criticism Into Perspective.Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):276-307.
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  18. Scientific Coordination Beyond the A Priori: A Three-Dimensional Account of Constitutive Elements in Scientific Practice.Michele Luchetti - 2020 - Dissertation, Central European University
    In this dissertation, I present a novel account of the components that have a peculiar epistemic role in our scientific inquiries, since they contribute to establishing a form of coordination. The issue of coordination is a classic epistemic problem concerning how we justify our use of abstract conceptual tools to represent concrete phenomena. For instance, how could we get to represent universal gravitation as a mathematical formula or temperature by means of a numerical scale? This problem is particularly pressing when (...)
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  19. From Successful Measurement to the Birth of a Law: Disentangling Coordination in Ohm's Scientific Practice.Michele Luchetti - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84:119-131.
    In this paper, I argue for a distinction between two scales of coordination in scientific inquiry, through which I reassess Georg Simon Ohm’s work on conductivity and resistance. Firstly, I propose to distinguish between measurement coordination, which refers to the specific problem of how to justify the attribution of values to a quantity by using a certain measurement procedure, and general coordination, which refers to the broader issue of justifying the representation of an empirical regularity by means of abstract mathematical (...)
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  20. Newton on Active and Passive Quantities of Matter.Adwait A. Parker - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84:1-11.
    Newton published his deduction of universal gravity in Principia (first ed., 1687). To establish the universality (the particle-to-particle nature) of gravity, Newton must establish the additivity of mass. I call ‘additivity’ the property a body's quantity of matter has just in case, if gravitational force is proportional to that quantity, the force can be taken to be the sum of forces proportional to each particle's quantity of matter. Newton's argument for additivity is obscure. I analyze and assess manuscript versions of (...)
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  21. What Do Implicit Measures Measure?Michael Brownstein, Alex Madva & Bertram Gawronski - 2019 - WIREs Cognitive Science:1-13.
    We identify several ongoing debates related to implicit measures, surveying prominent views and considerations in each debate. First, we summarize the debate regarding whether performance on implicit measures is explained by conscious or unconscious representations. Second, we discuss the cognitive structure of the operative constructs: are they associatively or propositionally structured? Third, we review debates whether performance on implicit measures reflects traits or states. Fourth, we discuss the question of whether a person’s performance on an implicit measure reflects characteristics of (...)
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  22. Towards a Logic of Epistemic Theory of Measurement.Daniele Porello & Claudio Macolo - 2019 - In Gabor Bella & Paolo Bouquet (eds.), Modeling and Using Context - 11th International and Interdisciplinary Conference, {CONTEXT} 2019, Trento, Italy, November 20-22, 2019, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 11939. pp. 175-188.
    We propose a logic to reason about data collected by a num- ber of measurement systems. The semantic of this logic is grounded on the epistemic theory of measurement that gives a central role to measure- ment devices and calibration. In this perspective, the lack of evidences (in the available data) for the truth or falsehood of a proposition requires the introduction of a third truth-value (the undetermined). Moreover, the data collected by a given source are here represented by means (...)
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  23. Mapping the Deep Blue Oceans.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2019 - In Timothy Tambassi (ed.), The Philosophy of GIS. pp. 99-123.
    The ocean terrain spanning the globe is vast and complex—far from an immense flat plain of mud. To map these depths accurately and wisely, we must understand how cartographic abstraction and generalization work both in analog cartography and digital GIS. This chapter explores abstraction practices such as selection and exaggeration with respect to mapping the oceans, showing significant continuity in such practices across cartography and contemporary GIS. The role of measurement and abstraction—as well as of political and economic power, and (...)
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  24. Distance and Dissimilarity.Ben Blumson - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 48 (2):211-239.
    This paper considers whether an analogy between distance and dissimilarlity supports the thesis that degree of dissimilarity is distance in a metric space. A straightforward way to justify the thesis would be to define degree of dissimilarity as a function of number of properties in common and not in common. But, infamously, this approach has problems with infinity. An alternative approach would be to prove representation and uniqueness theorems, according to which if comparative dissimilarity meets certain qualitative conditions, then it (...)
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  25. The Mismeasure of Consciousness: A Problem of Coordination for the Perceptual Awareness Scale.Matthias Michel - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (5):1239-1249.
    As for most measurement procedures in the course of their development, measures of consciousness face the problem of coordination, i.e., the problem of knowing whether a measurement procedure actually measures what it is intended to measure. I focus on the case of the Perceptual Awareness Scale to illustrate how ignoring this problem leads to ambiguous interpretations of subjective reports in consciousness science. In turn, I show that empirical results based on this measurement procedure might be systematically misinterpreted.
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  26. A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being.Anna Alexandrova - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Do the new sciences of well-being provide knowledge that respects the nature of well-being? This book written from the perspective of philosophy of science articulates how this field can speak to well-being proper and can do so in a way that respects the demands of objectivity and measurement.
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  27. Three Arguments for Absolute Outcome Measures.Jan Sprenger & Jacob Stegenga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):840-852.
    Data from medical research are typically summarized with various types of outcome measures. We present three arguments in favor of absolute over relative outcome measures. The first argument is from cognitive bias: relative measures promote the reference class fallacy and the overestimation of treatment effectiveness. The second argument is decision-theoretic: absolute measures are superior to relative measures for making a decision between interventions. The third argument is causal: interpreted as measures of causal strength, absolute measures satisfy a set of desirable (...)
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  28. La valeur de l'incertitude : l'évaluation de la précision des mesures physiques et les limites de la connaissance expérimentale.Fabien Grégis - 2016 - Dissertation, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité Université Paris.Diderot (Paris 7)
    Abstract : A measurement result is never absolutely accurate: it is affected by an unknown “measurement error” which characterizes the discrepancy between the obtained value and the “true value” of the quantity intended to be measured. As a consequence, to be acceptable a measurement result cannot take the form of a unique numerical value, but has to be accompanied by an indication of its “measurement uncertainty”, which enunciates a state of doubt. What, though, is the value of measurement uncertainty? What (...)
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  29. Sensory Measurements: Coordination and Standardization.Ann-Sophie Barwich & Hasok Chang - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (3):200-211.
    Do sensory measurements deserve the label of “measurement”? We argue that they do. They fit with an epistemological view of measurement held in current philosophy of science, and they face the same kinds of epistemological challenges as physical measurements do: the problem of coordination and the problem of standardization. These problems are addressed through the process of “epistemic iteration,” for all measurements. We also argue for distinguishing the problem of standardization from the problem of coordination. To exemplify our claims, we (...)
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  30. Approximate Truth, Quasi-Factivity, and Evidence.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):249-266.
    The main question addressed in this paper is whether some false sentences can constitute evidence for the truth of other propositions. In this paper it is argued that there are good reasons to suspect that at least some false propositions can constitute evidence for the truth of certain other contingent propositions. The paper also introduces a novel condition concerning propositions that constitute evidence that explains a ubiquitous evidential practice and it contains a defense of a particular condition concerning the possession (...)
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  31. A Sense So Rare: Measuring Olfactory Experiences and Making a Case for a Process Perspective on Sensory Perception.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (3):258-268.
    Philosophical discussion about the reality of sensory perceptions has been hijacked by two tendencies. First, talk about perception has been largely centered on vision. Second, the realism question is traditionally approached by attaching objects or material structures to matching contents of sensory perceptions. These tendencies have resulted in an argumentative impasse between realists and anti-realists, discussing the reliability of means by which the supposed causal information transfer from object to perceiver takes place. Concerning the nature of sensory experiences and their (...)
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  32. Modeling Measurement: Error and Uncertainty.Alessandro Giordani & Luca Mari - 2014 - In Marcel Boumans, Giora Hon & Arthur Petersen (eds.), Error and Uncertainty in Scientific Practice. Pickering & Chatto. pp. 79-96.
    In the last few decades the role played by models and modeling activities has become a central topic in the scientific enterprise. In particular, it has been highlighted both that the development of models constitutes a crucial step for understanding the world and that the developed models operate as mediators between theories and the world. Such perspective is exploited here to cope with the issue as to whether error-based and uncertainty-based modeling of measurement are incompatible, and thus alternative with one (...)
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  33. The Confirmational Significance of Agreeing Measurements.Casey Helgeson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):721-732.
    Agreement between "independent" measurements of a theoretically posited quantity is intuitively compelling evidence that a theory is, loosely speaking, on the right track. But exactly what conclusion is warranted by such agreement? I propose a new account of the phenomenon's epistemic significance within the framework of Bayesian epistemology. I contrast my proposal with the standard Bayesian treatment, which lumps the phenomenon under the heading of "evidential diversity".
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  34. E Does Not Equal K.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - The Reasoner 7:30-31.
    This paper challenges Williamson's "E = K" thesis on the basis of evidential practice. The main point is that most evidence is only approximately true and so cannot be known if knowledge is factive.
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  35. Old and New Problems in Philosophy of Measurement.Eran Tal - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1159-1173.
    The philosophy of measurement studies the conceptual, ontological, epistemic, and technological conditions that make measurement possible and reliable. A new wave of philosophical scholarship has emerged in the last decade that emphasizes the material and historical dimensions of measurement and the relationships between measurement and theoretical modeling. This essay surveys these developments and contrasts them with earlier work on the semantics of quantity terms and the representational character of measurement. The conclusions highlight four characteristics of the emerging research program in (...)
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  36. Classifying Processes: An Essay in Applied Ontology.Barry Smith - 2012 - Ratio 25 (4):463-488.
    We begin by describing recent developments in the burgeoning discipline of applied ontology, focusing especially on the ways ontologies are providing a means for the consistent representation of scientific data. We then introduce Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), a top-level ontology that is serving as domain-neutral framework for the development of lower level ontologies in many specialist disciplines, above all in biology and medicine. BFO is a bicategorial ontology, embracing both three-dimensionalist (continuant) and four-dimensionalist (occurrent) perspectives within a single framework. We (...)
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  37. The Analytic Versus Representational Theory of Measurement: A Philosophy of Science Perspective.Zoltan Domotor & Vadim Batitsky - 2008 - Measurement Science Review 8 (6):129-146.
    In this paper we motivate and develop the analytic theory of measurement, in which autonomously specified algebras of quantities (together with the resources of mathematical analysis) are used as a unified mathematical framework for modeling (a) the time-dependent behavior of natural systems, (b) interactions between natural systems and measuring instruments, (c) error and uncertainty in measurement, and (d) the formal propositional language for describing and reasoning about measurement results. We also discuss how a celebrated theorem in analysis, known as Gelfand (...)
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  38. The Structure of Gunk: Adventures in the Ontology of Space.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2008 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 248.
    Could space consist entirely of extended regions, without any regions shaped like points, lines, or surfaces? Peter Forrest and Frank Arntzenius have independently raised a paradox of size for space like this, drawing on a construction of Cantor’s. I present a new version of this argument and explore possible lines of response.
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  39. From Eye to Machine: Shifting Authority in Color Measurement.Sean F. Johnston - 2002 - In B. Saunders & J. Van Brakel (eds.), Theories, Technologies, Instrumentalities of Color: Anthropological and Historiographic Perspectives. Lanham, MD 20706, USA: University Press of America. pp. 289-306.
    Given a subject so imbued with contention and conflicting theoretical stances, it is remarkable that automated instruments ever came to replace the human eye as sensitive arbiters of color specification. Yet, dramatic shifts in assumptions and practice did occur in the first half of the twentieth century. How and why was confidence transferred from careful observers to mechanized devices when the property being measured – color – had become so closely identified with human physiology and psychology? A fertile perspective on (...)
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  40. The Construction of Colorimetry by Committee.Sean F. Johnston - 1996 - Science in Context 9 (4):387-420.
    This paper explores the confrontation of physical and contextual factors involved in the emergence of the subject of color measurement, which stabilized in essentially its present form during the interwar period. The contentions surrounding the specialty had both a national and a disciplinary dimension. German dominance was curtailed by American and British contributions after World War I. Particularly in America, communities of physicists and psychologists had different commitments to divergent views of nature and human perception. They therefore had to negotiate (...)
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  41. Differences in Individuation and Vagueness.W. Grafe - 1981 - In Hartkämper A., Schmidt HJ. (eds) Structure and Approximation in Physical Theories. New York City, New York, USA: [ Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply ]. pp. 113-122.
    I. EPISTEMOLOGICAL SUGGESTIONS From an epistemological view, classifying a statement as 'vague' means to judge the statement in question to be a mixture from partial knowledge and partial ignorance. Accordingly it seems desirable to describe the boundary between knowledge and ignorance hidden in the vague statement. -/- Ludwig discusses vagueness in physics, especially vagueness in measuring statements. The example he uses is 'measurement of Euclidean distance', i.e. the meaning of statements which are often written as "d(x,y) = α ± ε", (...)
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  42. The Problem of Interspecies Welfare Comparisons (Preprint).Heather Browning - manuscript
    One of the biggest problems in applications of animal welfare science is our ability to make comparisons between different individuals, particularly different species. Although welfare science provides methods for measuring the welfare of individual animals, there’s no established method for comparing measures between individuals. This problem occurs because of the underdetermination of the conclusions given the data, arising from two sources of variation that we cannot distinguish – variation in the underlying target variable (welfare experience) and in the relationship of (...)
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