Thus, the two traditions in question—epistemological and cultural-aesthetic—become linked in turn.
It would not be possible to consider their other intersections without extending this essay too far beyond its intended scope. I would argue, however, that they come together, and, again, illuminate each other in Blake not only for the first time but perhaps still most powerfully. It is especially disabled in contemporary man, who is enchained by organized religion and its extensions or equivalents, such as contemporary legal and political institutions, or post-Newtonian mathematics and science as Blake sees them.
The second "memorable fancy" Plate 15 , "A Printing House in Hell," offers an allegory of the liberated or awakened, activated in the direct sense of the term , workings of Poetic Genius. It anticipates much vaster allegories of this process found in, among other works, Milton and Jerusalem , most directly the closing line of the latter Plate 98 , on which I shall comment presently. Indeed, each of the latter works as a whole should be seen as this type of allegory, as should in fact be The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The two plates are bridged by Plate 14, which, preparing the Printing House plate, ends with a call for "cleansing the doors of perception.
I am, however, primarily concerned with what the Republic has to say about poets and painters, with the cave allegory itself, although it remains important and must be kept in mind. Of even greater significance is a particular shape or structure of the spaces that his designs are aimed to convey. They become a kind of "finite" figuration of the Blakean "infinite. Now, the poets are famously exiled. In a rough outline which cannot do justice to either Plato or his critics , this exile takes place via their metaphorical or allegorical identification with painters, defined again, exaggerating as shameless and useless imitators, in contrast to the divine creator, or even to carpenters.
Throughout Plato, though, speech and writing are placed in a parallel and indeed related order, which, it may be shown, also makes the order of the three beds into the order of three books. Carpenters are at least useful, if not as creative as God or by implication , at the human limit, philosophers.
This argument is applied by Shelley to Plato himself and making him a poet, along with and prototypically or even archetypally other philosophical creators, the creators of new philosophical concepts in the above sense or even, as Deleuze and Guattari would have, "the concepts that are forever new" For the moment it is the negative conjunction of poetry and painting in Plato that is especially significant. His books would be seen by him as the work of all three or all four—God or at least the divine portion of man, the carpenter the engraver , the artist and, and as, the poet.
The coming together of all four is what, according to Blake, enables Poetic Genius in man and the poetic "perception" of the infinite. The book is, thus, conceptualized and materialized by Blake as a model or an allegory of all expanded human perception. By the same token, each is a "Visionary form Dramatic," and indeed each is also "Human," and a human form, body and soul, "according to the Expansion and Contraction," and also the city, a kind of "Jerusalem" of its own Jerusalem , Plate 35, I shall further comment on the conjunction or superimposition of the body, the book, and the city in Blake, at the micro minute particulars and the macro levels below.
The visually allegorical conjunction of writing and drawing, and indeed their passing into each other, is pervasive in Blake, but this is a relatively minor point here. Specific elements involved may, of course, be crucial, for example, when one needs to read written characters as human bodies "human forms" , cities, or books themselves, and vice versa. Or, again, each element of writing, say a letter, would have to acquire the character of the book Blake could hardly be unaware of the pun, as the above quotation would indicate , often superimposing each such micro-book, almost a microchip-book, on the body and the city.
Blake could hardly be assumed not to have thought of this pun either. This is of course not to say that such minute particulars become merely isolated macro-structures. This is true only insofar as they become divested, Blake would say "liberated," from conventional reading, before, or rather as, they are radically reorganized into a new order as expanded minute particulars, as they form a radical organization. Indeed, both allegorizations must be seen as reciprocal as, at every level, from letters to the books, a "convers[ation] together in Visionary forms dramatic," each element being itself already such a form—a gigantic, "infinite," living fabric textum of organized minute particulars Jerusalem , Plate This deployment of the human body may be seen as an ironic reversal of Leibniz, since, according to Leibniz, monads are souls, or proto-souls.
The title page of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is a spectacular early example of this body-monadology, with a characteristically Blakean erotic and enriching twist: the embracing couples populating the plate nearly dissolve into the foliage of trees of knowledge? This process can then be unmonotonously extended into infinity, in both directions, thus reinscribing or reembodying, or re-embracing, bodies from within and from without into complex multiplicities, from within which embraced bodies or, sometimes, single bodies or what we see as such emerge.
Milton and Jerusalem appear to confirm this view and this archetype as well, both textually, specifically in the closing elaborations just mentioned, and structurally and conceptually as a whole. In general, later prophetic books take the overall embrace monadology just described to its limits at every scale—textually, conceptually, and pictorially.
This process is allegorized in the "minute-particular" plates of Jerusalem such as Plate 45 of Chapter 2 and Plate 55 of Chapter 3, Plate Each "Minute Particular" of Albion is "hardened" by a Newtonian vision into a "grain of sand," from a superimposition-fusion—embrace—of the book, the body, and the city each of these is clearly intimated in the plate of the infinite vision.
The infinite vision would, conversely, expand a grain of sand into this type of infinity. In order to reach this vision it is necessary, first, to divest the text verbal or visual of or, again, liberate it from a reductive reading and, then, to reassemble, reorganize, it into a different text. It is in this process that each textual element becomes enveloped in, and indeed becomes, a kind of enriched monad, or conglomerate of monads with qualifications offered above. The same general type of the re assembling of an ordered organization of the world from unique elements that are themselves not subject to a classical, or at the limit any conceivable, order or law, or, as I call it here, "radical organization," is found elsewhere in Romanticism and beyond.
Such figures as Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, whose ideas link those of these figures, may be considered from this perspective as well.
The situation, however, takes on a different conceptual character and epistemology in different cases. This difference is especially determined by the plenitude or, conversely, scarcity and ultimately the irreducible loss in representation and meaning, which I shall now sketch in a preliminary fashion, before proceeding to a more rigorous discussion. Order ultimately underlies disorder. The difference, thus, is in the structure of the unknowable, defined by its relation to the loss and the plenitude of meaning or order and to the degree of each in either vision.
Or, indeed, the difference is between assigning and perhaps envisioning and the impossibility of assigning and hence ultimately suspending the possibility of vision , a structure to the unknowable that is behind and is approachable or unapproachable by the knowable and the known. It is the difference between the unknowable in practice and the unknowable in principle, the unknowable that is ultimately unknowable even as the unknowable.
This difference may be subtle and may emerge only at the limit of the oscillations between both types of knowledge and the unknowable, as is the case in Blake or most other figures just mentioned. That, however, does not make it, or the difference in balance of both types of epistemology, insignificant. On the other hand, in both cases we deal with the search for order and the means to cope with chaos, even if approaching the border of chaos is our goal.
We may not be able to do more than to reach this border rather than enter chaos itself , unless perhaps in madness, which may or may not itself be chaos, but of which we can only think as madness through order and reason, however perhaps mad but in a different sense.
The latter, paradoxically, appears to require the highest and most complex forms of order, just as the unknowable appears to demand, and emerges at the limit of, the best possible knowledge, as quantum mechanics taught us. It might just be mad enough to be true, as Bohr liked to point out. Fractals is yet another question, which I shall discuss below. Quantum epistemology disallows one to speak of any properties of quantum objects and their behavior as such, but only of the effects of their interaction with measuring instruments described in terms of classical physics. Accordingly, any physical description of quantum objects or their behavior based on conventional physical attributes can only be "allegorical" in the sense just defined.
Classical physics can offer us only incomplete and partial—and specifically complementary—allegories of the quantum world, both in general conceptual terms and as specifically applied to the measuring instruments involved in a particular and in fact always unique situation of quantum measurement. While the relevant behavior of these instruments is described fully classically, the sum total of the effects of their interaction with quantum objects is rigorously unaccountable by means of classical physics. Only, at most, half of such effects is accountable in any given case, say, only their positions or only their momenta, but never both together, as we could do in classical physics.
Paradoxically, or so it may appear, radical organization, and its orders or laws, are defined by the fact that they allow for and indeed entail that which is not subject to organization, order, or law. They entail that which is irreducibly unorganizable, irreducibly lawless, and is indeed ultimately inaccessible or inconceivable otherwise, including as absolutely inaccessible or inconceivable, both of which are of course merely conceptions, as Hegel realized.
At the same time, however, it is not something that is excluded from the domain or system governed by organization, is not an absolute other of the organization, but is instead irreducibly linked to it. The particular version of radical organization that I shall now introduce appears to be epistemologically the most radical yet available.
But then it may also be the only available or even the only possible model of the configuration of the organizable and unformalizable just defined. Accordingly, from this point on, by "radical organization" an alternative locution, to be explained presently, will be "nonclassical organization" , I refer to this version. The complexities and implications of the concept are many and far-reaching. The configuration itself defining it, or constituting the point of departure for it, is, however, simple to formulate: the representation of the multiple or collective may, in certain circumstances, be subject to organization, formalization, law, and so forth; that of the "individual" is irreducibly nonorganizable, nonformalizable, lawless.
In other words, a radical organization is an organization of individual entities, which are the constituents of the order or orders arising in multiplicities governed by radical organization, while each such constituent, considered in isolation, cannot itself be subject to this or any order, law, organization, comprehension, and so forth.
Thus, under these conditions, order and law apply only to I am not saying fully describe collectivities, but, in general, not to individuals, which are the ultimate constituents of such collectivities. It follows in accordance with the general definition of radical organization given above that such elements cannot be excluded from or placed outside the domain governed by radical organization.
Quantitative Data From Rating Scales: An Epistemological and Methodological Enquiry
But it also follows that the constitutive elements of such organizational structures can no longer be seen as part of a whole, with in which both are comprehended by the same law or a correlated set of laws. The latter identity or correlation of two laws for the whole and its parts defines classical systems and classical organization, including those of chaos theory, and I here use the term "classical" in accordance with this feature.
We may also call such systems Newtonian systems, which would include those in physics itself and those a very large class of classical systems that are modeled on them elsewhere, or on which Newtonian physical systems are modeled. In full measure, however, the above formulations only apply to allegorical epistemology. Thus, as I have indicated, in quantum physics, individual quantum events are, in general, not comprehended by law; for example, individual particles cannot be assigned mathematically describable individual trajectories in the way they can in classical physics.
Yet, such events are the constituents of all knowable orders, for example and in particular indeed there is no other order in quantum theory , specific statistical correlations between quantum events. These correlations, and only they, are described by the mathematical formalism of quantum theory, while remaining outside the reach of any classical explanation. Otherwise the concept of organization in which the un-organized and un-organizable lawless would be defined as constitutive of organization rather than placed outside of it may appear paradoxical in the end, it is not , rather than only entailing an epistemology that is complex and difficult, and indeed for many impossible to accept.
Einstein, who encountered it in quantum physics, was among them. In particular, how lawless individual elements "conspire" to sum up into law-ful collectivities is indeed enigmatic and may in turn be inconceivable. It may be impossible to conceive how this "conspiracy" is ultimately possible at any and all levels. This is why such an organization and laws may only be said to apply to collectivities but not fully describe the ultimate structure of those collectivities.
This is also why the overall configuration is so radical epistemologically, or, as the case may be, anti-epistemologically, as well as anti-ontologically, since it may ultimately disallow ontology, or disallow any ultimate ontology, along with any ultimate epistemology—any possibility of knowing or conceiving how that which is stake here is ultimately possible. It is, however, technically free of contradiction in part by virtue of the latter impossibility.
Einstein acknowledged this in the case of quantum mechanics, without, however, changing his overall critical attitude, since he still found quantum epistemology "so very contrary to [his] scientific instinct," which could perhaps be called more properly an epistemological instinct, quite common indeed.
He hoped that an epistemologically different, classical-like, theory of quantum data would eventually be found. All true Blakean orders, true visions of the infinite, are irreducibly nonmathematical, or otherwise formalizable. This ordered nonformalizability distances him, indeed in a significant way, from chaos theory and brings him closer to quantum theory, which contains an apparently irreducible nonformalizable and, hence, on mathematical component. This would be a kind of Blakean view of mathematics.
Indeed, it may be shown that the possibility of so doing would lead to a conflict with the available experimental data of quantum physics. I would argue, however, that this type of picture does more justice to the complexity of these relationships than any determinate identification or parallel, say, between Blake and chaos theory, or between Blake and quantum mechanics itself subject to a variety of interpretations, intensely debated.
Indeed such determinate relationships do not appear to be rigorously possible. An important qualification or emphasis is in order, before I proceed further. Such a view would, again, place the unique and the singular outside a given order, rather than allow us see them as giving rise to this order. Instead, more radically, every individual situation cases, event, and so forth within an ordered or law-governed overall configuration is not subject to the order and law defining this configuration, or order and law in general.
This also explains why extraordinary situations are so ordinary, so common, in Blake, or allowing for the differences indicated above other Romantic literature; they are in fact the minute particulars constituting what we reductively see as ordinary situations. Ultimately, everything is extraordinary, or one might say, extra-extraordinary, insofar as classically extraordinary entities are neither excluded from chaosmic orders nor are composites of anything less extraordinary.
Something more extraordinary is possible; hence my perhaps extravagant terminology. Or, still more accurately, underneath or alongside the perceived order of the ordinary, which we may call classical, there subsists a different organization, which I here call radical or nonclassical. The process itself, however, is, according to Blake, interminable or infinite, just as the iteration of fractals is.
Blake would appear to find the latter conceptually and aesthetically interesting and productive up to a point, but boring in infinity, however intricate fractality may be, such as that of the famous Mandelbrot set. The "Newtonian" order, which contracts and "harden[s]" minute particulars, "the jewels of Albion," "into the [same] grains of sand" and in which minute particulars and their assemblages are governed by the same law, or properly correlated set of laws I shall explain this in more detail below , subject to mathematical "Demonstration," would never apply Jerusalem , Chapter 2, Plate , 20, Thus, rather than ultimately suspending order, the Blakean universe is conceived so as to have more order than any Newtonian universe can possibly have.
With due qualifications, especially insofar as this richer order borders on the irreducible chaos and the invisible, the unknowable, and so forth, this proposition applies to quantum physics. It is just that this order is, by definition, assembled out of elements—minute particulars—that cannot obey any Newtonian-like law, and hence the overall order is not Newtonian either, in any reasonable sense of the term "Newtonian.
The Blakean universe is the infinite limit of this process, which "limit," however, remains unlimited—interminably expandable. This, I would argue, also makes Blake's vision of the infinite the deliberate opposite of differential calculus, which would be for Blake, the calculus in either sense of the finite limit of the infinite, which is both, as Blake perhaps realized, its power and ultimately Satanic limitation.
The Epistemology of Visual Thinking in Mathematics
What is the actual character or structure of the minute particulars that emerges once this vision becomes open on to infinity remains, short of possessing such a vision, mysterious. They may, however, and I would argue, must be differently taken into account. First of all, however suspending for the moment the question of the constitution and unconstitution of the human body, in Blake and elsewhere , it would hardly be possible to think of the human body in Blake in terms of a single or fractally iterable shape.
Finally, the body is, again, always superimposed with the book and the city in Blake, which superposition would further enrich or be enriched by the "embrace" structure. Thus conceived, "embrace" may be seen as the structure of Blakean superimposition, although here, again, the relationships between all components are continuously reshuffled in the process. This "wholeness" rather than fragments would define his minute particulars as well. It is worth qualifying that the Blakean "super im position" just described is not here intended to invoke and be related to the so-called linear "superposition" of quantum mechanics.
This concept and its metaphorical implications would require a separate analysis.
In the Bohrian interpretation, followed here, this concept does not correspond to any physical reality, to any process occurring in space and time. Accordingly, I shall bypass these connections here. The panelists focus on scopic regimes that contain and shape visual forms and on the environments of such containment. The representational spaces encompass representations of artifacts in a virtual museum, the representations of statistical information circulated in popular print and theoretical interpretation of the problem of cultural and aesthetic containment of the work of art in the representational space of the museum.
The panel examines how technologies of reproduction run parallel to an increasing objectification of knowledge, and universalizing the works or knowledge through categories offered by educational, cultural and political institutions. It also examines tensions between the attempt to build and institutionally enforce cultural knowledge and the productive resistances of the work in its production, distribution, and reception, thus reflecting how practices of cultural transmission are incorporated in the process of reproduction of knowledge.
Vision is not entirely intuitive, unteachable, and universal. Experience and cultural training influence our reception and understanding of imagery. Seeing the constructed world in an intelligent way requires an educated vision. Given that vision is culturally mediated, how might we employ information visualization overcome persistent problems of information access and system bias? The cultural basis of knowledge organization and representation systems has been recognized for nearly three decades. The concept of scopic regimes suggests some mechanisms by which visual literacy is operationalized.
It categorizes dominant and variant visual depictions according to their epistemological conceits. The predominant arguments for visualization make strong epistemological claims about the universality of visual knowledge. This paper is a historical case study of visual representation of statistical information and diffusion of that information through printed ephemera in the first thirty years of the twentieth century. At that time, the modernization process in the production and reproduction of text and images fundamentally changed publishing practices: the technologies of reproduction were shaped by innovation in the use of lithography and application of photographic processes in mass production of images neither of which was new.
This resulted in an increased control over representation, of aesthetic freedom in design, and ability to circulate images. The changes in reproduction processes become instruments for dissemination and construction of knowledge and experience of reality for the communities of practice shaped by texts. The reproduction methods at the beginning of the twentieth century increase the ability to model the cultures of reception through popular dissemination of texts and information Anderson ; they are also part of the process of increased secularization of thought and rationalization of knowledge practices that started with the Enlightenment.
The first quarter of the twentieth century is identified by historians as a time of ultimate triumph of secular thought, the scientific worldview and materialist culture Hall This process has been studied by the sociologists of knowledge and historians, including critical analyses of technoscience and texts on the social nature of the dissemination of scientific knowledge, scientific networks, and communication processes in science communities Haraway The focus of print historians has been on texts as basis of that communication Johns ; Eisenstein ; Darnton The forms of knowledge representation related to particular epistemologies are less commonly examined although they make a direct link between society and the processes underlying the production of knowledge.
The statistical principles of collection, analysis and interpretation of masses of quantitative information were established by the end of the nineteenth century. It is not known, though, that the method originated from the pictorial diagrams found in popular, illustrated almanacs published from the end of the nineteenth century. These almanacs were precursors of presenting numerical data for popular consumption in visual form, statistical pictograms.
Because statistical knowledge enables generalization and prediction of trends, it has also been used to convey arguments about these trends. Although the Isotype studio perfected the convention of signs and their use for presenting social and economic structures, the popular almanacs disseminated widely the information about the social, political, and economic conditions of the contemporary world, thus shaping and informing public opinion in a society where literacy levels were notoriously low in some estimates, as low as 10 percent.
In the context of digital transmission of texts, the importance of visual perception in information retrieval is increasing and so is visual literacy. This study contributes to the understanding of visual forms of knowledge representation, focusing on the material context of textual transmission and a particular historical form.
It also analyzes visual representations of statistical data used as basis for government policy on social provision, housing and public health in the s and s Austrian context. The Isotype provides a cornerstone to and understanding of the visual representation of knowledge in the first quarter of the twentieth century. The study shows that knowledge depends on the materiality and scale of reproduction methods and points to the need for the historians and sociologists of knowledge to study information tied to cultures of reception outside of the disciplinary and scholarly communication.
Rating data have been used intensely for almost a century now Thurstone, ; Likert, ; but still little is known about the processes by which raters actually generate these data. The focus is on intuitive judgements on multi-stage rating scales e. The article explores processes of data generation —before any methods of data analysis can be applied. These processes are crucial for measurement and quantification because data can reveal information about study phenomena only if relevant properties have been encoded systematically in the data. No method of analysis, however, sophisticated, can substitute these essential steps.
A transdisciplinary perspective is adopted to elaborate epistemological, metatheoretical and methodological foundations of theories and methods of data generation, measurement and quantification from psychology and social sciences but also from biology, physics and especially metrology , the science of measurement BIPM, Metrology was key to the successes of the physical sciences e. This is no utopic ideal. Big Data gain momentum. But statistical results can be interpreted with regard to real-world phenomena only if the data fulfill elementary criteria of measurement and quantification that can be understood and used in the same way across sciences—without ignoring peculiarities of their objects of research.
Psychologists and social scientists encounter particular challenges because their study phenomena are intangible, highly adaptive and complex, and less rigorously rule-bound than those explored in other fields but see Hossenfelder, Therefore, measurement technologies from physical sciences and engineering cannot be applied. Moreover, as all persons are individuals and members of social communities, scientists exploring these phenomena cannot be independent of their objects of research.
This entails particular risks of unintentionally introducing all kinds of ego-centric and ethno-centric biases Uher et al. To elaborate principles by which basic criteria of measurement and quantification can be met in all sciences while considering fundamental differences in their objects of research, this article applies the Transdisciplinary Philosophy-of-Science Paradigm for Research on Individuals TPS-Paradigm ; Uher, a , b , c , d , e , a , b , b , c. It is well suited for this purpose because it provides unitary frameworks in which concepts from psychology, life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and metrology that are relevant for research on individuals have been systematically integrated.
It also puts into focus the individuals who are doing research and generating data, thus opening up a meta-perspective on research processes. First, these frameworks and relevant concepts are briefly introduced and used to explore epistemological foundations of measurement and quantification considering concepts from psychology, social sciences and metrology. Then, principles by which metrological criteria can also be met in person-generated quantifications are outlined, highlighting challenges and limitations. The demands that rating methods impose on data-generating persons are systematically deconstructed and compared with the demands involved in other quantitative methods e.
Closing, the article highlights problematic assumptions underlying rating methods as well as implications for their utility to improve replicability and transparency in psychology and social sciences. The TPS-Paradigm comprises a system of interrelated philosophical, metatheoretical and methodological frameworks paradigm in which concepts, approaches and methods from various disciplines transdisciplinary for exploring phenomena in or in relation to individuals were systematically integrated, further developed and complemented by novel ones.
TPS-Paradigm: schematic overview. Its interrelated frameworks and key topics, the disciplines involved and previous applications in empirical studies. Three presuppositions are important. Complexity theories, developed amongst others in philosophy Hartmann, , thermodynamics Prigogine and Stengers, , physics of life Capra, , theoretical biology von Bertalanffy, , medicine Rothschuh, , and psychology Wundt, ; Koffka, ; Vygotsky and Luria, allow to conceive individuals as living organisms organized at different levels forming nested systems, from molecules and cells over individuals up to societies.
At each level, they function as integrated wholes in which dynamic non-linear processes occur from which new properties emerge not completely predictable from their constituents principle of emergence. These new properties can feed back to the constituents from which they emerge, causing complex patterns of upward and downward causation. With increasing levels of organization, ever more complex systems and phenomena emerge that are less rule-bound, highly adaptive and historically unique Morin, This applies especially to psychological and social-science objects of research.
This concept highlights that particular objects of research can be exhaustively understood only by describing two mutually exclusive properties that are irreducible and maximally incompatible with one another, thus requiring different frames of reference, truth criteria and investigative methods, and that may therefore be regarded as complementary to one another Fahrenberg, , ; Hoche, ; Walach, In this problem, called psyche-physicality problem in the TPS-Paradigm given its particular terminology see below; Uher, c , complementarity takes a metaphysically neutral stance without making assumptions of either ontological dualism or monism while emphasizing the necessity for methodical dualism to account for observations of two categorically different realities that require different frames of reference, approaches and methods Walach, Instead, it highlights that we can gain access to this reality only through our human perceptual and cognitive abilities, which inevitably limits our possibilities to explore and understand this reality.
This epistemological position comes close to those of critical realism Bhaskar and Danermark, and pragmatism-realism Guyon et al. They emphasize the reality of the objects of research and their knowability but also that our knowledge about this reality is created on the basis of our practical engagement with and collective appraisal of that reality. Knowledge is therefore theory-laden, socially embedded and historically contingent.
This notion differs from various philosophical definitions e. Given the focus on research on individuals, these properties are conceived in dimensions of everyday experiences e. Physicality here refers to concepts of classical physics, because they match everyday experiences, unlike quantum physical ones. All physical phenomena are spatially extended. These properties are labeled metatheoretical because they reflect a level of abstraction not commonly considered, and only time and space constitute ontological categories.
These conceptual differentiations, as they are accessibility-based, have important methodical implications for data generation shown below. Kinds of phenomena. In the TPS-Paradigm, various kinds of phenomena are conceptually differentiated by the particular constellation of forms regarding the three metatheoretical properties determinating their perceptibility.
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For the present analyses, the conceptual distinction between psyche and behavior is important. Thus, behaviors are external, transient and mostly immaterial physical phenomena e. A science exploring the psyche must therefore distinguish between its objects of research and its tools for investigating them. Psychical phenomena e. Differences in temporal extension distinguish experiencings Erleben , which are transient and bound to the here-and-now e.
Unlike immaterial physical phenomena e. Internality, imperceptibility by others and lack of spatial properties differentiate psyche from possible externalizations in behaviors and language from which psychical phenomena can only be inferred indirectly. This has important implications for language-based methods like ratings as shown below. In the TPS-Paradigm, three further kinds of phenomena are conceptually distinguished: semiotic representations e.
Importantly, these composites are conceptual and not demarcated by physical boundaries unlike, e. Instead, their constituents are located apart from one another, which considerably complicates their exploration as semiotic representations illustrate. Semiotic representations e. These three constituents form a functional composite from which new properties emerge—those of signs sign includes the notion of symbol in the TPS-Paradigm.
Visual and acoustic patterns are external physical and can thus be perceived by others and used to decode the meanings and referents someone may have encoded in them. Importantly, meanings are not inherent to the physical signifiers in themselves but only assigned to them. These three constituents are all located apart and not demarcated as an entity and therefore cannot be straightforwardly recognized as a composite.
Such assignments are arbitrary and therefore vary e. This considerably complicates explorations, such as their function as data. Semiotic representations: data. Semiotic representations are composites comprising both phenomena internal and phenomena external to individuals. Data are signs symbols that scientists use to represent information about the study phenomena in physically persistent and easily perceivable ways.
Thus, data are semiotic representations—composites comprising particular physical constituents e. Important types of data are numerals apart from textual data. Numerals comprise physical constituents e. As such attributions are arbitrary, the meaning of numbers can also be attributed to other physical constituents e. Vice versa, different meanings can be assigned to the same signifiers that then constitute different signs e. Consequently, not all numerals represent numbers.
Whether or not numerals represent numbers depends on the meanings attributed by their creators—an important point for data generation. Data, as they are signs symbols , can be stored, manipulated, decomposed and recomposed, that is, analyzed in lieu of the actual phenomena under study the referents and in ways not applicable to these latter. But inferences about the study phenomena can be made only if the data represent relevant properties of these phenomena in appropriate ways. This is a further important point for data generation taken up again below. The three properties, because they describe modes of perceptibility under everyday conditions, also specify the ways to make phenomena accessible under research conditions.
Therefore, these metatheoretical properties are used in the TPS-Paradigm to derive methodological principles and define basic method classes that cut across common classifications, which specify properties of data once these are generated e. External phenomena e. Internal physical phenomena e.
Temporally extended phenomena e. Transient phenomena e. Physical phenomena, both material and immaterial e. Therefore, they can be captured with physical methods , which rely on the spatial extensions of materials that are systematically related to and more easily perceivable than the study phenomena Uher, a , such as mercury in glass tubes for measuring temperature see Chang, This unique property is used in the TPS-Paradigm to distinguish methods enabling access to psychical phenomena from those that cannot.
Introquestive 6 methods are all procedures for studying phenomena that can be perceived only from within the individual itself and by nobody else in principle under all possible conditions. Accordingly, all methods of self-report and inner self-observation are introquestive. This applies to all physical phenomena including internal and immaterial ones, e. Joint perception of the same entity by multiple individuals e. Introquestion versus extroquestion. Basic classes of methods for investigating psychical versus physical phenomena. These two perspectives are, however, not perceived as separate channels of information.
Instead, they are always merged in the multifaceted unity emerging from the composite of all perceptions available at any moment Wundt, Therefore, introspection and extrospection cannot be differentiated as methods. By contrast, extro question and intro question are defined and differentiated on the basis of a the particular study phenomena e.
These concepts highlight that psychophysical investigations of relations between sensory perceptions and physical stimuli Fechner, ; Titchener, —commonly interpreted as introspective—are actually extroquestive methods. The physical stimuli e. Thus, contrary to widespread assumptions, psychophysical findings about sensory perceptions cannot be generalized to perceptions of phenomena that are accessible only introquestively. Involvement of perceptions does not qualify investigations as introquestive because perceptions are always involved in any investigation e.
Each kind of phenomenon can be captured only with particular method classes and no method class allows for exploring all kinds of phenomena see complementarity; Uher, a. These are further important points for data generation taken up again below. In psychology, quantification and measurement are often considered synonyms; but they are not the same. Quantification generally denotes the assignment of numbers, whereas measurement denotes a purposeful multi-step process, comprising operative structures for making such assignments in reliable and valid ways together with explanations of how this is achieved Maul et al.
Hence, not every quantification is an outcome of measurement Abran et al. A quantity is a divisible property of entities of the same kind—thus, of the same quality. Two types are distinguished, multitudes and magnitudes Hartmann, Multitudes are discontinuous and discrete quantities that are divisible into indivisibles and discontinuous parts, which are countable—numerable—and therefore expressible as a number e.
Thus, multitudes are quantities by their ontological nature Hartmann, Magnitudes , by contrast, are continuous and unified quantities that are divisible into divisibles and continuous parts. Quantities for which additive operations can be empirically constructed and quantities that can be derived from them led to further measurement concepts.
In fundamental direct measurement , quantities are obtained directly e. In derived measurement , the target quantity is obtained indirectly from relations between other directly measurable quantities e. In associative measurement , the target quantity is obtained indirectly through measurement of another quantity with which it is systematically connected e. Psychophysicists, pioneers of early psychology, studied equality and ordering relationships of sensory perceptions of physical stimuli e.
But the properties of psychical phenomena in themselves, especially non-sensory ones e. This led psychologists and social scientists to focus on relational models, operational theories and utility concepts Michell, ; Finkelstein, Representational theory of measurement, developed in the social sciences, formalizes non-contradictory axiomatic conditions by which empirical relational structures can be mapped onto symbolic relational structures, especially numerical ones Krantz et al.
Representational theory of measurement. Key elements of representational systems frequently used in psychological and social-science concepts of measurement. In physical sciences and engineering, representational theory plays no role, however, despite its applicability Finkelstein, This may be because it formalizes initial stages of measurement and important conditions of measurability but does not stipulate any particular measurement procedures Mari et al. Another problem concerns establishing measurability i. But the appropriateness of particular numerical representations is often only assumed rather than established, thereby reducing the interpretability of the generated symbolic representation regarding the empirical phenomena under study Blanton and Jaccard, ; Vessonen, Psychometric theories are concerned with statistical modeling approaches, building on various positivist epistemologies that focus on empirical evidence and predictive ability instrumentalist focus rather than on finding true explanations of reality.
This, however, reduces measurement to any number-yielding operation Dingle, It also ignores that measurement results constitute information that can be understood also outside the specific context in which they were generated Mari et al. The ability to represent information also in absence of their referents is a key feature of semiotic representations like data Uher, a , b. Psychometricians applying classical test theory or probabilistic latent trait theory e.
Hence, they assume that ideal methods e. But this ignores that interactions between study properties and methods always influence the results obtained Heisenberg, ; Bohr, ; Mari et al. In human-generated measurement, these interactions are intricate because they are mediated by the data-generating persons who perceive and interpret—thus interact with—both the study properties whether located internally or externally and the methods used e.
It refers to the results not the process, thus confounding two metrological criteria of measurement. Metrological concepts stipulate basic and testable elements of measurement procedures linking measurement results data with the phenomena and properties under study through traceable conversions of information. They provide key concepts by which symbolic e. An important way of establishing object-dependence and subject-independence is to implement traceability.
This allows measurement results to be traced back to the particular instances of the properties measured objects of research and the particular comparisons and standards by which quantifications were obtained empirical examples below. In the TPS-Paradigm, numerical data that fulfill these metrological criteria are called scientific quantifications as opposed to subjective quantifications in which these are not fulfilled. To connect objects of research empirical relational structures and measurement results symbolic relational structures through unbroken documented chains of comparisons, suitable operational processes must be established including explanations of how unbroken chaining is achieved for issues of measurement uncertainty, not discussed here, see Giordani and Mari, , ; Mari et al.
Psychological and social-science objects of research can be conceived very differently e. Therefore, researchers must theoretically define the phenomena and properties of interest. Theoretical definitions describe the objects of research—in representative measurement theoretical terms, the empirical entities under study and their relational structures. Theoretical concepts are abstract and generalized ideas, which necessarily differ from their perceivable referents Daston and Galison, ; Uher, a. Abstract concepts e. Hence, their theoretical definition is a matter of decision, which can but need not be intersubjectively agreed see, e.
As abstract ideas, constructs cannot be measured in themselves. To enable quantification, constructs must be operationally defined , thus, be related systematically to specific indicators that are directly measurable and used to quantify a construct indirectly. Erroneous analogies are sometimes drawn to indirect physical measurement, where the target quantity is derived from measurement of other directly measurable quantities see above. But indirect measurement builds on natural connections among different kinds of quantities, which are experimentally identifiable whereas construct operationalization is a matter of decision, which may, but need not, be intersubjectively agreed see, e.
The complexity of constructs requires multiple indicators; but no set of indicators, however, large, can be all-inclusive e. Constructs imply more meaning surplus meaning than the indicators by which they are operationalized. Psychotechnical engineering , where variables are purposefully chosen to operationalize theoretically defined constructs following representational measurement theory , is aimed at generating aggregate scores for defined sets of variables Cronbach and Meehl, ; Messick, ; Vautier et al.
This differs from psychometric engineering , where construct definitions are derived from empirical interrelations among variables following operationist assumptions; Thissen, ; Vautier et al. While these issues are well-known and intensely discussed, psychometricians hardly ever specify how the data-generating persons can actually identify the empirical relational system and execute the assignments to the symbolic relational system.
When concepts constituted by words are explored with methods constituted by words, it is difficult to distinguish the methods from the measures of the object of research Lahlou, ; Uher, d. Rating scales serve both as descriptors of the empirical relational system and as elements of the symbolic relational systems, thus confounding two key elements of representational measurement theory.
Rating items confound empirical and relational system. Rating scales serve both as descriptors of the empirical relational system and as elements of the symbolic relational system, thus confounding two key elements of representational measurement theory. As data generation requires interaction with the objects of research, persons must be able to directly perceive them. Theoretical definition and empirical operationalization. Process structure for measurement directly by persons in research on individuals.
For each measurement variable, researchers must then define measurement units. As they belong to the same variable, units refer to properties conceived as identical or at least sufficiently similar—thus, of the same quality. Different types of units are used. Nominal units encode either more specific qualities or, as binary units, absence versus presence of the quality of interest, whereas rational, interval and ordinal units encode divisible properties of the quality studied, thus quantitative properties.
For each unit type, permissible transformations are specified that maintain the mapping to the empirical relational system under study Stevens, For measurement, the same properties must always be encoded with the same signs so that the data obtained always represent the same information and can be understood and used by others in the same way, thus subject-independently. This presupposes explicit assignment rules e. Metatheoretically speaking, the symbolic systems e. Extroquestive accessibility of study phenomena enables multiple persons to jointly perceive the same entity. This facilitates establishing intersubjective consensus in making these decisions i.
Decisions to be made by data-generating persons. Data generation requires complex decisions about demarcating, categorizing and encoding the entities of interest. They are particularly challenging when study phenomena feature variable perceivable properties e. For example, smiles vary in spatial extensions; humans can turn their mouth corners up in various ways, with mouth open or closed, with or without laughter lines around their eyes, and all this at various levels of intensity.
Smiles also vary in temporal extension. Are quick and long-lasting smiles events of the same kind? When does one smile end and another one start? Thus, which particular demarcable entities can be considered to be sufficiently similar to categorize them as being of the same kind? Making these decisions explicit is important for establishing traceability of the generated data.
They must decide which pieces of information should be demarcated in what ways using perceivable similarities and dissimilarities.
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Variations in perceivable properties e. Then, data-generating persons must decide how to categorize the demarcated entities using perceivable properties but also similarities and differences in their known or assumed functions and meanings —thus, theoretical and contextual considerations. Thereafter, data-generating persons must represent perceived occurrences of the thus-categorized entities into the signs used as data.
When information from one kind of phenomenon is represented in another one, this is called conversion in the TPS-Paradigm Uher, a. For systematic and standardized conversions of information from the empirical into the symbolic relational system, scientists must specify which pieces of information from the study phenomena should be demarcated, categorized and semiotically encoded in what ways. Psychometricians are rather unconcerned with all these decisions raters have to make during data generation. Instead, psychometricians apply sophisticated methods of data modeling e.
But data analysis cannot add fundamental properties that have not been encoded in the raw data. To what extent are persons actually able to directly generate scientific quantifications i. For interval and ratio-scaled direct quantifications, spatial standard units of measurement are widely used e. Distinct entities i. If not applicable, persons can compare several entities with one another—provided these can be perceived in close spatial and temporal proximity together—to determine their relative magnitude regarding the quality of interest e.
Scientific quantification directly by persons. Scientific quantification directly by persons during data generation is possible only by counting multitudes and through direct perceptual comparison of the magnitudes of the phenomena and properties under study with one another and with the magnitudes of spatial and temporal standards of measurement. For example, the dynamics of behaviors often hinder applications of spatial standards of measurement e. Direct comparisons between behavioral acts are complicated both within individuals because previous acts have already ceased to be and between individuals because individuals seldom behave spatio-temporally in parallel with one another as arranged in races.
To solve this problem, behavioral scientists e. These two methods are now explored in detail and compared with one another. To be specific to individuals, behavioral patterns must vary among individuals and these differences must be stable over some time Uher, , b. But neither differential nor temporal patterns can be directly perceived at any moment. As behaviors are transient, fluctuating and dynamic, individual behavior patterns cannot be straightforwardly measured either Uher,