Some Logical and Normative Issues Relating to Measurement in the Social Sciences
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This lecture is based on the premise that measurement is very important for the social sciences. However, it also enjoins care on the practitioner’s part in his or her engagement with the project of measurement. It deals, in particular, with four often overlooked issues with which quantification in the social sciences should be concerned: (1) social indicators in relation to the contrast between outcomes and processes; (2) measurement which tends to depend on the derivation of ‘ought’ propositions from ‘is’ propositions; (3) the neglect of the role of normative values in social and economic measurement; and (4) the role of language and logic in social measurement.
KeywordsOutcomes Processes ‘Is’ propositions ‘Ought’ propositions ‘Decomposition’ Logical coherence Normative appeal Language Meaning
JEL ClassificationB41 I32 D39 O15 J11
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