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Lecture 1

FIN 501 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: False Dilemma


Department
Finance
Course Code
FIN 501
Professor
C A N' T R E M E M B E R
Lecture
1

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Epistemology of Numbers
Epistemology: Questioning how we know something to be true. The study of
knowledge.Ex( The world is flat).
This applies to numbers. Especially in reports/research. (Context matters).
Example)
$100=$100: The value of $100 depends on context… $100 goes a lot farther in
rural areas.
This applies to income as well. Depending on where you live or situation, income
levels may be of different value.
The Point
If we think something is true, its not because everyone says it is, but because there
is objective evidence behind the claim.
But social agreement and context helps us to make sense of symbols.
How does this apply to quantitative research?
Numbers are often thought as being “hard” or “objective” –assumes a false
dichotomy
Numbers need to be placed in context
Good research takes context into account
Epistemology of Numbers (Summary)
Number’s aren’t always objective
Context and interpretation are important
Good research considers context and works to reduce misunderstanding &
misinterpretation
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