At the Perspectives on Science seminar on Monday 12.10. Alessandra Basso (University of Helsinki) will present her paper titled “Flexible measurement for flexible phenomena: the case of inequality”. The seminar will be organized as an online meeting in Zoom from 2-4 pm. Zoom is an online conference tool supported by University of Helsinki.
Perspectives on Science is a weekly research seminar which brings together experts from science studies and philosophy of science. It is organized by TINT, the Centre for Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. More information about the seminar here.
To join the seminar please contact tatu.nuotio(a)helsinki.fi or kaisla.kareoja(a)helsinki.fi. Information about using Zoom can be found here.
Alessandra Basso is a PhD student at TINT. Her thesis focuses on measurement in and across the social sciences. Besides philosophy of measurement, she is interested in philosophy of economics and general philosophy of science.
A diversity of measurements of inequality coexists in current scientific practice. These measurements focus on different dimensions of the phenomenon and are based on diverse procedures and data sources. The proliferation of measurements can be an obstacle for comparisons and knowledge accumulation. This paper, however, contends that the employment of a diverse set of measurements can also bring about epistemic advantages. Using a set of measurements can lead to better understanding and explanation of inequality, because it allows scientists to test hypotheses about the relations between different dimensions of the phenomenon. In measurement assessment practice, moreover, scientists exploit the diversity of measurements for checking the robustness of their results; for individuating and correcting for sources of error; and for evaluating the accuracy of new measurements.