Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1433780
 


 



The Reliability of an Instrument


Marcel J. Boumans


University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE)

2004

Social Epistemology, Vol. 18, No. 2-3, pp. 215-246, 2004

Abstract:     
Scientific measurements are made objective through the use of reliable instruments. Instruments can have this function because they can - as material objects - be investigated independently of the specific measurements at hand. However, their materiality appears to be crucial for the assessment of their reliability. The usual strategies to investigate an instrument’s reliability depend on and assume possibilities of control, and control is usually specified in terms of materiality of the instrument and environment. The aim of this paper is to investigate the problem of reliability for non-material instruments, the instruments being applied in the social sciences. Any possible lack of reliability of the instrument hinders the measurements of ever becoming objective.

Keywords: Accuracy, Calibration, Precision, Reputation, Secrets

JEL Classification: B4

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: July 18, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Boumans, Marcel J., The Reliability of an Instrument (2004). Social Epistemology, Vol. 18, No. 2-3, pp. 215-246, 2004. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1433780

Contact Information

Marcel J. Boumans (Contact Author)
University of Amsterdam ( email )
Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, North Holland 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4197 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4254 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.fee.uva.nl/pp/mboumans/
Tinbergen Institute ( email )
Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE) ( email )
P.O. Box 1738
EIPE Office, Room H5-23
3000 Dr Rotterdam
Netherlands
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