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Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement

by Nancy Cartwright

  • ISBN: 9780198235071
  • ISBN10: 0198235070

Nature's Capacities and Their Measurement

by Nancy Cartwright

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 03/01/1994
  • ISBN: 9780198235071
  • ISBN10: 0198235070
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Description: This book argues for the place of capacities within an grounds of meaning, not method. Yet it is questions of method that should concern the modern empiricist: can capacities be measured? Cartwright argues that they are measured if anything is. Stanford University's Gravity-Probe-B will measure capacities in a cryogenic dewar deep in space. More mundanely, we use probabilities to measure capacities, and the assumptions required to ensure that probabilities are areliable instrument are investigated in the opening chapters of this book, where the early methods of econometrics set a model. The last chapter applies lessons about probabilities and capacities toquantum mechanics and the Bell inequalities. The central thesis throughout is that capacities not only can be admitted by empiricists, but indeed must be - otherwise the empirical methods of modern science will make no sense.
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