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operationalism Line breaks: op¦er|ation¦al|ism
Pronunciation: /ɒpəˈreɪʃ(ə)n(ə)lɪz(ə)m/

Definition of operationalism in English:


[mass noun] Philosophy
A form of positivism which defines scientific concepts in terms of the operations used to determine or prove them.
Example sentences
  • Milne's metaphysical views were based in positivism, most especially in operationalism: only those objects whose properties could be directly revealed by some observational procedure, or operation, were to be counted among the real.
  • According to operationalism, STR changes the meanings of the concepts of space and time from the classical conception.
  • Third, Carnap realizes that the principle of operationalism is too restrictive.



noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • This suffices to qualify stress as a permissible concept from the operationalist standpoint.
  • He adopted a constructivist interpretation of mathematics which bordered upon formalism, and regarded this as the natural complement to his operationalist philosophy in physics.
  • Those who said that these were real because they were useful were instrumentalists, while those who said they were real to the extent that they correlated with measurements were operationalists.

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