This collection offers a new understanding of the epistemology of measurement. The interdisciplinary volume explores how measurements are produced, for example, in astronomy and seismology, in studies of human sexuality and ecology, in brain imaging and intelligence testing. It considers photography as a measurement technology and Henry David Thoreau's poetic measures as closing the gap between mind and world.
By focusing on measurements as the hard-won results of conceptual as well as technical operations, the authors of the book no longer presuppose that measurement is always and exclusively a means of representing some feature of a target object or entity. Measurement also provides knowledge about the degree to which things have been standardized or harmonized – it is an indicator of how closely human practices are attuned to each other and the world.
1 Epistemological Dimensions of Measurement
Nicola Mößner and Alfred Nordmann
2 Of Compass, Chain, and Sounding Line: Taking Thoreau’s Measure
Laura Dassow Walls
3 Operationalism: Old Lessons and New Challenges
Images as Measurements
4 Photo Mensura
5 The Media Aesthetics of Brain Imaging in Popular Science
6 Compressed Sensing – A New Mode of Measurement
7 The Altered Image: Composite Figures and Evidential Reasoning with Mechanically Produced Images
8 Visual Data – Reasons to be Relied on?
9 Pictorial Evidence: On the Rightness of Pictures
Measuring the Immeasurable
10 Measurement in Medicine and Beyond: Quality of Life, Blood Pressure and Time
11 Measuring Intelligence Effectively: Psychometrics from a Philosophy of Technology Perspective
12 The Klein Sexual Orientation Grid and the Measurement of Human Sexuality
Donna J. Drucker
13 The Desert and the Dendrograph: Place, Community and Ecological Instrumentation
Emily K. Brock
Calibrating Mind and World
14 Scientific Measurement as Cognitive Integration: The Role of Cognitive Integration in the Growth of Scientific Knowledge
15 Measurements in the Engineering Sciences: An Epistemology of Producing Knowledge of Physical Phenomena
16 Uncertainty and Modeling in Seismology
17 A Model-Based Epistemology of Measurement
Even though technoscientific research is as old as alchemy and pharmacy, agricultural research and synthetic chemistry, philosophers of science had little to say about it until recently. This book series is the first to explicitly accept the challenge to study not just technical aspects of theory development and hypothesis testing but the specific ways in which knowledge is produced in a technological setting. When one seeks to achieve basic capabilities of manipulation, visualization, or predictive control, how are problems defined and research fields established, what kinds of explanations are sought, how are findings validated, what are the contributions of different kinds of expertise, how do epistemic and social values enter into the research process? And most importantly for civic observers of contemporary research: how is robustness and reliability achieved even in the absence of complete scientific understanding?
Editorial Board: Hanne Andersen (University of Copenhagen), Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (University of Paris, Sorbonne), Martin Carrier (University of Bielefeld), Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds), Don Howard (University of Notre Dame), Ann Johnson (Cornell University), Cyrus Mody (Maastricht University), Maureen O'Malley (University of Sydney), Roger Strand (University of Bergen), Nancy Tuana (Pennsylvania State University).
Direct inquiries to Alfred Nordmann [e-mail link: firstname.lastname@example.org] or Robert Langham [e-mail link: email@example.com].