This book develops a general theory of how concepts in science come to be measurable through a detailed consideration of the example of temperature. The approach is very much that of history and philosophy of science, and in each of Chapters 1 to 4, the history (referred to as ‘narrative’) is given first and then some philosophical comments (referred to as ‘analysis’) follow. The historical episodes chosen are designed to illustrate problems in the measurement of temperature. Thus, the narrative of Chapter 1 is concerned with the question of how the fixed points (boiling and freezing of water) were established. Here Chang reveals some surprising and perhaps largely forgotten historical facts. For example, (p. 21)1 Gay–Lussac reported in 1812...

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