from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Philosophy The view that all theoretical terms in science must be defined only by their procedures or operations.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A philosophy that attempts to define all scientific concepts in terms of specified operations or procedures of observation and measurement
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. the doctrine that the meaning of a proposition consists of the operations involved in defining, proving, or applying it.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (philosophy) the doctrine that the meaning of a proposition consists of the operations involved in proving or applying it
Sorry, no etymologies found.
You can find Paul Samuelson talking about Mach and "operationalism" and econometrics and all sorts of philosophy of science whooee -- the picture of "real" science that Samuelson had in his head.
As Donald Gillies (1972, 6 “ 7) emphasizes, if we accept the most extreme kind of operationalism, there is no point in asking whether a measurement method is valid; if the measurement method defines the concept and there is nothing more to the meaning of the concept, the measurement method is automatically valid, as a matter of convention or even tautology.
Such operationalism would not destroy systematic unity; on the contrary, it is an optimal strategy for achieving as much systematic unity as nature would allow, in a strongly empiricist system of knowledge.
Retaining that sense of humility will help us in developing Bridgman's unfinished thoughts to create a new operationalism that does full justice to the complexity and richness of both nature and human scientific practice.
It is often said that operationalism cannot be right because each scientific concept can be measured in various ways.
From the methodological lesson he took from Einstein to the insights gained in his own high-pressure physics, an important focus of Bridgman's operationalism was on regulating the extension of concepts to uncharted domains.
Behaviorist psychologists took up operationalism (or operationism, as it was more often called in psychology) as a weapon in their fight against more traditional psychologists, especially those who prized introspection as the most important source of psychological knowledge.
Nowhere was the positivist disappointment with Bridgman sharper than in considerations of operationalism as a theory of meaning.
Increasing the latter, or at least maintaining it, was something that Bridgman sought to achieve with his operationalism.
In more general terms, operationalism can be seen as a strategy for increasing the empirical content of scientific theories.