Measurement pp 14-34 | Cite as


  • Karel Berka
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 72)


The concept of measurement, as it is understood in the most diverse connections, often with different intentions, is undoubtedly a complex concept possessing an equivocal meaning. We have already pointed this out in the Introduction. However, we have to repeat this statement to vindicate the manner that will be used in the gradual explication of the extension and content of this concept. The stipulation of a more precise definition at the very onset of our investigation would be at least premature and, at any rate, unjustified. An adequate definition of the concept of measurement, whatever its formulation, obviously has a great conceptual significance, yet it cannot be regarded as the only aim of our analysis. It is much more important for the theory of measurement if we expound what can be meaningfully said about measurement from various standpoints: if we state what are the general and specific characteristics helping us to grasp the core of the method, what its role is in the process of scientific knowledge, under what conditions measurement can be legitimately applied, and what indeed measurement is objectively. These goals can be fulfilled only in a step-by-step fashion, in a continuous confrontation with different views concerning these and other questions of the theory and practice of measurement.


Physical Measurement Relational System Numerical Relation Mathematical Entity Numerical Expression 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karel Berka
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Philosophy and SociologyCzechoslovak Academy of SciencesCzechoslovakia

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