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Elina Vessonen

Elina Vessonen

Department: History and Philosophy of Science

Supervisor: Dr. Anna Alexandrova & Prof. Hasok Chang

College: Newnham College

AHRC Subject Area: Philosophy

Title of Thesis: A Practice-Based Approach to Concept Formation and Measurement in Social Sciences


I am a PhD  candidate in History and Philosophy of Science at University of Cambridge. I have a Bachelor degree in Social Sciences from University of Helsinki (Finland) and a Research Master degree in Philosophy and Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands).

In my PhD research I study how social scientific concepts (such as well-being) are formed, and what makes a social scientific concept appropriate for the purposes of measurement. To approach these questions, I explore how social scientists determine a definition or characterization of their target concept and how they ensure that the measurement procedures they employ capture that concept. I then analyse these practices in light of philosophical accounts of concept formation and measurement. My aim is to develop an evaluative approach that clarifies the philosophical literature on concept formation and contributes to the betterment of measurement practices in social sciences.

Other academic interests