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Elements of a Theory of Inexact Measurement

Ernest W. Adams
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 32, No. 3/4 (Jul. - Oct., 1965), pp. 205-228
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186515
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Elements of a Theory of Inexact Measurement
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Abstract

Modifications of current theories of ordinal, interval and extensive measurement are presented, which aim to accomodate the empirical fact that perfectly exact measurement is not possible (which is inconsistent with current theories). The modification consists in dropping the assumption that equality (in measure) is observable, but continuing to assume that inequality (greater or lesser) can be observed. The modifications are formulated mathematically, and the central problems of formal measurement theory--the existence and uniqueness of numerical measures consistent with data--are re-examined. Some results also are given on a problem which does not arise in current theories: namely that of determining limits of accuracy attainable on the basis of observations.

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