Qualified Quantities: Towards an Arithmetic of Real Experience

  • S. O. Funtowicz
  • J. R. Ravetz
Part of the Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 5)


This study has been motivated by two problems at widely separated places in the methodology of the natural sciences. One is the crisis in the philosophy of science, caused by the continuing failure of all programmes to identify a logical structure which could explain the previously succesful practice of natural science (Shapere 1986). The other is the failure of the traditional methods of laboratory science to encompass problems of risks and the environment in the policy process. Few people are aware of both problems and their possible connections. Here we will indicate their common root and, while not attempting a “solution” cast as some formalism, we will exhibit a practical device whereby quantitative statements can be made in a clear and effective way.


Quantitative Information Magic Number Scientific Revolution Usable Knowledge Notational Scheme 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. O. Funtowicz
    • 1
  • J. R. Ravetz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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