What can mathematical modelling contribute to a sociology of quantification?

Andrea Saltelli & Arnald Puy (2023)

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 10. Online first, open access

Abstract. Sociology of quantification has spent relatively less energies investigating mathematical modelling than it has on other forms of quantification such as statistics, metrics, or algorithms based on artificial intelligence. Here we investigate whether concepts and approaches from mathematical modelling can provide sociology of quantification with nuanced tools to ensure the methodological soundness, normative adequacy and fairness of numbers. We suggest that methodological adequacy can be upheld by techniques in the field of sensitivity analysis, while normative adequacy and fairness are targeted by the different dimensions of sensitivity auditing. We also investigate in which ways modelling can inform other instances of quantification as to promote political agency.

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