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  1. Measurement in Psychology: A Critical History of a Methodological Concept.Joel Michell - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book traces how such a seemingly immutable idea as measurement proved so malleable when it collided with the subject matter of psychology. It locates philosophical and social influences reshaping the concept and, at the core of this reshaping, identifies a fundamental problem: the issue of whether psychological attributes really are quantitative. It argues that the idea of measurement now endorsed within psychology actually subverts attempts to establish a genuinely quantitative science and it urges a new direction. It relates views (...)
     
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  2. The Origins of the Representational Theory of Measurement: Helmholtz, Hölder, and Russell.Joel Michell - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (2):185-206.
    It has become customary to locate the origins of modern measurement theory in the works of Helmholtz and Hölder. If by ‘modern measurement theory’ is meant the representational theory, then this may not be an accurate assessment. Both Helmholtz and Hölder present theories of measurement which are closely related to the classical conception of measurement. Indeed, Hölder can be interpreted as bringing this conception to fulfilment in a synthesis of Euclid, Newton, and Dedekind. The first explicitly representational theory appears to (...)
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    Numbers as Quantitative Relations and the Traditional Theory of Measurement.Joel Michell - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (2):389-406.
    The thesis that numbers are ratios of quantities has recently been advanced by a number of philosophers. While adequate as a definition of the natural numbers, it is not clear that this view suffices for our understanding of the reals. These require continuous quantity and relative to any such quantity an infinite number of additive relations exist. Hence, for any two magnitudes of a continuous quantity there exists no unique ratio. This problem is overcome by defining ratios, and hence real (...)
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    Psychophysics, Intensive Magnitudes, and the Psychometricians' Fallacy.Joel Michell - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3):414-432.
    As an aspiring science in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, psychology pursued quantification. A problem was that degrees of psychological attributes were experienced only as greater than, less than, or equal to one another. They were categorised as intensive magnitudes. The meaning of this concept was shifting, from that of an attribute possessing underlying quantitative structure to that of a merely ordinal attribute . This fluidity allowed psychologists to claim that their attributes were intensive magnitudes and measurable . This (...)
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  5.  34
    Epistemology of Measurement: The Relevance of its History for Quantification in the Social Sciences.Joel Michell - 2003 - Social Science Information 42 (4):515-534.
    Five episodes in the history of quantitative science provided the occasions for changes in the understanding of measurement important for attempts at quantification in the social sciences. First, Euclid's generalization of the ancient concept of measure to the concept of ratio provided a clear rationale for the use of numbers in quantitative science, a rationale that has been important through the history of science and one that contradicts the definition of measurement currently fashionable within the social sciences. Second, Duns Scotus's (...)
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  6.  85
    Bertrand Russell's 1897 Critique of the Traditional Theory of Measurement.Joel Michell - 1997 - Synthese 110 (2):257-276.
    The transition from the traditional to the representational theory of measurement around the turn of the century was accompanied by little sustained criticism of the former. The most forceful critique was Bertrand Russell''s 1897 Mind paper, On the relations of number and quantity. The traditional theory has it that real numbers unfold from the concept of continuous quantity. Russell''s critique identified two serious problems for this theory: (1) can magnitudes of a continuous quantity be defined without infinite regress; and (2) (...)
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    Numbers, Ratios, and Structural Relations.Joel Michell - 1993 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 71 (3):325 – 332.
  8.  17
    The Fashionable Scientific Fraud: Collingwood’s Critique of Psychometrics.Joel Michell - 2020 - History of the Human Sciences 33 (2):3-21.
    In his review of Charles Spearman’s The Nature of ‘Intelligence’, R. G. Collingwood launched an attack upon psychometrics that was expanded in his Essay on Metaphysics. Although underrated by friend and foe alike, Collingwood’s critique identified a number of defects in the thinking of psychometricians that subsequently became entrenched. However, his main complaint was that psychology generally was a ‘fashionable scientific fraud’. This charge was inspired by his more general views on logic and metaphysics, which, however, as I argue, are (...)
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    Psychophysics, Intensive Magnitudes, and the Psychometricians’ Fallacy.Joel Michell - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (3):414-432.
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  10.  19
    Review Symposia.Terence McMullen, John Maze, Joel Michell & Brian Kennedy - 1996 - Metascience 5 (2):6-20.
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