Quantification: A History of the Meaning of Measurement in the Natural and Social Sciences

Quantification: A History of the Meaning of Measurement in the Natural and Social Sciences

Quantification: A History of the Meaning of Measurement in the Natural and Social Sciences

Quantification: A History of the Meaning of Measurement in the Natural and Social Sciences

Excerpt

Measurement has long been considered a hallmark of science properly practiced, and once a new discipline has developed a mathematical discourse, it has almost immediately laid claim, at least in the language of its most enthusiastic disciples, to the significant status--science! In the larger task of understanding the world, quantification or measurement may not only give precision to the perpetual dialogue between nature and the scholar, but it may also enable such a conversation to include an ever-growing portion of the manifold and the complex through the employment of increasingly higher levels of abstraction. Thus, in an age concerned not only with the fine analysis of nature, but also with the characteristics of its own methods and tools, the meaning of measurement in all science becomes of fundamental concern to theory and practice alike.

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