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Valid for What? On the Very Idea of Unconditional Validity

Larroulet Philippi, Cristian (2021) Valid for What? On the Very Idea of Unconditional Validity. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 51 (2). pp. 151-175.

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Abstract

What is a valid measuring instrument? Recent philosophy has attended to logic of justification of measures, such as construct validation, but not to the question of what it means for an instrument to be a valid measure of a construct. A prominent approach grounds validity in the existence of a causal link between the attribute and its detectable manifestations. Some of its proponents claim that, therefore, validity does not depend on pragmatics and research context. In this paper, I cast doubt on the possibility of a context-independent causal account of validity (what I call unconditional validity). I assess several versions, arguing that all of them fail to judge the validity of measuring instruments correctly. Because different research purposes require different properties from measuring instruments, no account of validity succeeds without referring to the specific research purpose that creates the need for measurement in the first place.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Larroulet Philippi, Cristiancristianlarroulet@gmail.com0000-0001-5793-4670
Keywords: Measurement, Construct Validity, Causation, Social Sciences, Psychometrics
Subjects: General Issues > Data
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Cristian Larroulet Philippi
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2021 19:25
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2021 19:25
Item ID: 19235
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Publisher: SAGE
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0048...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1177/0048393120971169
Subjects: General Issues > Data
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Specific Sciences > Psychology
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2021
Page Range: pp. 151-175
Volume: 51
Number: 2
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19235

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