Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair
Eran Tal is Canada Research Chair in Data Ethics. He joined the Philosophy Department at McGill in 2016, after holding fellowships at the University of Cambridge and Bielefeld University. He 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).
Tal’s work deals with the epistemic and ethical dimensions of data collection, data analysis and data use in the sciences. He has contributed to 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. His current research projects concern the conceptual foundations of psychometrics, and the ethical and social implications of big data and machine learning algorithms.
- Tal, E., “Models and Measurement”, forthcoming in The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Scientific Modeling.
- Tal, E., (2023) "Target specification bias, counterfactual prediction, and algorithmic fairness in healthcare", AIES '23: Proceedings of the 2023 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society, pp. 312–321. (free preprint)
- Tal, E. (2021), “Two Myths of Representational Measurement”, Perspectives on Science 29 (6), pp. 701-741. (alternative link)
- Tal, E. (2020) “Measurement in Science”, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
- Tal, E. (2019), "Individuating Quantities", Philosophical Studies 176 (4), pp. 853-878.
- Tal, E. (2018) “Naturalness and Convention in the International System of Units”, Measurement 116, pp. 631-643.
- Tal, E. (2017) “Calibration: Modelling the Measurement Process”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 65-66, pp. 33-45
- 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.
- Tal, E. (2016) “How Does Measuring Generate Evidence? The Problem of Observational Grounding”, Journal of Physics: Conference Series 772, 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)
- Tal, E. (2013) “Old and New Problems in Philosophy of Measurement” Philosophy Compass 8 (12), pp. 1159–1173.
- Tal, E. (2011) “How Accurate Is the Standard Second?” Philosophy of Science 78 (5), pp. 1082-1096.
- Tal, E. (2011) “From Data to Phenomena and Back Again: Computer-Simulated Signatures”, Synthese 182 (1), pp. 117-129.
- 2019 - 2025 Canada Research Chair in Data Ethics (Tier 2), CAD 600,000
- 2019 - 2020 "Psychiatric Illness in Canadian Youth: Mobilizing Measurement to Improve Clinical Care", Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) Knowledge Mobilization Grant, CAD 99,733
- 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