Ted Wong, "Why Quantify?" September 8, 2003

  1. Scientists want to build theories about nature.

  2. They want these theories to be testable--that is, to describe and predict phenomena.
  3. Descriptions and predictions must be numerical to be general and practical.
  4. Measurement mediates between scientists and nature,

    But measurement isn't transparent:

    • Measurement inserts at least one exra process.
    • Numbers have their own structure
      • meristic vs. continuous
      • linear is not the only number line.

    How does measurement drive and constrain theory-building? How do numbers?

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