Natures Capacities and Their Measurement

Paperback | November 1, 1994

byNancy Cartwright

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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 willmeasure 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 a reliable instrument are investigated in the opening chapters of this book, where the early methods of econometrics set amodel. The last chapter applies lessons about probabilities and capacities to quantum 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 nosense.

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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 willmeasure capacities in a cryogenic dewar deep in...

Nancy Cartwright is at London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:278 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:November 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198235070

ISBN - 13:9780198235071

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`I think that Nancy Cartwright has written an interesting, informative, and penetrating book that defines a promising combination of realism and empiricism in the philosophy of science ... Cartwright's commendable book offers a rich, informed, and coherent approach to a variety of issues andtopics pertaining to empiricism and realism in the philosophy of science.'Ellery Eells, University of Wisconsin-Madison, for Philosophy and Phenomenological Research