The Theory of Measurement

Philosophy Shorts, Book 50
Narrated by: Samuel Unger
Length: 33 mins
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this concise study, the basic principles of measurement-theory are stated. Topics covered include:

    Triangulation and precisification
  • Diachronic vs. synchronic measurement
  • The role of irrational numbers in measurement
  • Metrical conventionalism (conventionalism as to metrical standards) and nomic conventionalism (conventionalism as to the laws of nature)
  • Coordination of distinct metrical norms and the concomitant generalization of otherwise context-specific metrical concepts
  • Additivity and non-additivity of volume, mass, and other magnitudes, in relation to Relativity Theory
  • Scalar vs. vector magnitudes

©2016 John-Michael Kuczynski (P)2016 John-Michael Kuczynski

What listeners say about The Theory of Measurement

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too smart for an audio book

What made the experience of listening to The Theory of Measurement the most enjoyable?

great book, but it's a little tough to follow such intricate arguments without having the written word to fall back on. very eloquent though; can be listened to for its sheer lyricisms.

What other book might you compare The Theory of Measurement to and why?

Fundamentals of Concept-formation in the Empirical Sciences, by Hempel, from which it draws and which it improves on.

Have you listened to any of Samuel Unger’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I like his gentle but non-wimpy tone.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

That metrical conventionalism can be refuted.

Any additional comments?

Yes; the author should re-write a new version of this book sans the mathematics, which don't work very well in audio form.

1 person found this helpful

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Measurement is hard.

On a occasion, Angus Deaton has said he felt passionately about measurement, "about how difficult it is, about how much theory and conceptualisation is involved in measurement, and indeed, how much politics is involved." Although he was referring to measures of poverty and wellness in Economics, I feel that his comment can be broadly applied, even to the hard sciences. This book impressed me by its conciseness: Kuczynski covers a lot in half an hour.

PS: those interested in the topic of measurement may benefit from a series of lectures by Patrick Suppes, Amos Tversky and R. Duncan Lee that closely follows their "Foundations of Measurement" treatise. The series of videos, available in Youtube, were generously made available by the Stanford University: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrKlhVqlZwK6UcJ7K-XpaLmWoGehnXLAX.

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too much mathematics, but clean and helpful

Would you consider the audio edition of The Theory of Measurement to be better than the print version?

no, i like the print version, because you can see all the symbols and formulas

What did you like best about this story?

it was so clearly written

What does Samuel Unger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

a very clear and stead quality

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the part about physical laws

Any additional comments?

great book, but kind of intense