Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-xg4rj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-06T06:03:07.240Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Imprecision and Explanation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2022

D. H. Mellor*
Pembroke College, Cambridge University


The paper, analyses the role of measurable concepts in deductive explanation. It is shown that such concepts are, although imprecise in a defined sense, exact in that neutral candidates to them do not arise. An analysis is given of the way in which imprecision is related to generalisation, and it is shown how imprecise concepts are incorporated in testable deductive explanations.

Research Article
Copyright © Philosophy of Science Association 1967

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



[1] Bridgman, P. W., The Logic of Modern Physics, New York, 1927.Google Scholar
[2] Chwistek, L., The Limits of Science, London, 1948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[3] Dingle, H., ‘A Theory of Measurement’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1 (1), 1950.Google Scholar
[4] Ellis, B., Basic Concepts of Measurement, Cambridge, England, 1966.Google Scholar
[5] Hempel, C. G., ‘Deduetive-Nomological vs. Statistical Explanation’, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol. 3, ed. H. Feigl and Maxwell, Minneapolis, 1962.Google Scholar
[6] Lakatos, I., ‘Proofs and Refutations’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, (53–56), 1963–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[7] Mellor, D. H., ‘Experimental Error and Deductibility’, Philosophy of Science, 32, 1965.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[8] Mellor, D. H., ‘Inexactness and Explanation’, Philosophy of Science, 33, 1966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[9] Pap, A., An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, London, 1963.Google Scholar
[10] Quine, W. V. O., Word and Object, New York, 1960.Google Scholar
[11] Sellars, W., ‘The Language of Theories’, Current Issues in the Philosophy of Science, ed. H. Feigl and Maxwell, New York, 1961.Google Scholar
[12] Stevens, S. S., ‘Measurement, Psychophysics and Utility’, Measurement: Definitions and Theories, ed. C. W. Churchman and Ratoosh, New York, 1962.Google Scholar