Eran Tal has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto (2012) and an MA in History and Philosophy of Science from Tel Aviv University (2006). He joined the Philosophy Department at McGill in 2016, after holding fellowships at the University of Cambridge and Bielefeld University.
Tal’s current work focuses on the philosophy of measurement, an area within philosophy of science that deals with the concepts and problems involved in designing, operating and interpreting measurement procedures in the natural and social sciences. His studies are informed by the history and current practice of the relevant scientific disciplines, and particularly by the methods of metrology, the science of measurement and standardization. In recent years he has been developing a model-based epistemology of measurement that highlights the roles of idealization, abstraction and prediction in establishing measurement outcomes. He is also interested in the conceptual foundations of psychometrics, and in the ethical and social implications of big data and machine learning.
His other areas of interest include general epistemology, sociology of science, philosophy of physics and philosophy of mathematics.
- Tal, E. (2019), "Individuating Quantities", Philosophical Studies 176 (4), pp. 853-878. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-018-1216-2
- Tal, E. (2018) “Naturalness and Convention in the International System of Units”, Measurement 116, pp. 631-643. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2017.09.008
- Tal, E. (2017) “Calibration: Modelling the Measurement Process”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 65-66, pp. 33-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsa.2017.09.001
- Tal, E. (2017) “A Model-Based Epistemology of Measurement”, in Nicola Mößner and Alfred Nordmann (eds.), Reasoning in Measurement, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 233-253. https://goo.gl/sj96ws
- Tal, E. (2016) “How Does Measuring Generate Evidence? The Problem of Observational Grounding”, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 772, 012001. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/772/1/012001
- Tal, E. (2016) “Making Time: A Study in the Epistemology of Measurement”, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67, pp. 297-335. (Co-winner of the 2016 Sir Karl Popper Prize) https://doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axu037
- Tal, E. (2015) “Measurement in Science”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edward N. Zalta (ed.) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/measurement-science/
- Tal, E. (2013) “Old and New Problems in Philosophy of Measurement” Philosophy Compass 8 (12), pp. 1159–1173. https://doi.org/10.1111/phc3.12089
- Tal, E. (2011) “How Accurate Is the Standard Second?” Philosophy of Science 78 (5), pp. 1082-1096. https://doi.org/10.1086/662268
- Tal, E. (2011) “From Data to Phenomena and Back Again: Computer-Simulated Signatures”, Synthese 182 (1), pp. 117-129. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-009-9612-y
- 2017 – 2020 “The Conceptual Foundations of Psychometrics”, Research support for new academics, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC), CAD 56,000
- 2014 – 2016 “Economies of Uncertainty: Epistemological Perspectives on the Reform of the Metric System”, Marie Curie Research Fellowship, European Commission, EUR 231,000
- 2012 – 2014 “Virtual Measurement: Novel Ways of Knowing in the Natural Sciences”, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, EUR 90,000