Part I The Need for a Philosophical Treatment of Assessment: Why philosophy?; The Social and political context; Why assess?; Summary of the argument to follow. Part II Accountability and the Economy: Accountability; Assessment, accountability and values; Accountability, influencing teacher behaviour and pupil attainment; What does the industrial economy need? The mythology of literacy and numeracy; Using and applying; 'Rich' or 'proper' knowledge and understanding; Literacy, numeracy and proper knowledge; Conclusion. Part III Understanding and Holism: Property holism; Holism about propersitions and content; Meaning holism; Belief and concept holisms; Anthropological holism; Richard Skemp's cognitive maps, and the relational/instrumental understanding distinction; Conclusion. Part IV Belief and Language-based Assessment: Belief Theory. Part V Implications for Assessment: Written assessment; Making judgements about rich cognitive achievement on the basis of limited samples of behaviour; Conclusion. Part VI Transfer, Abilities and Rules: Psychometrics, trait discourse and transfer; Induction, powers and dispositions; Vagueness and fuzzy borders; Classification - substances and their dispositional properties; Situated cognition theory; Abilities, competencies, traits and skills; Psychometrics and traits; Mathematical performances and similarity judgements; Is arithmetic a special case?; Wittgenstein rule-following considerations and a possible sceptical argument; Rules revisited. >Algorithms; What follows from scepticism about fine-grained transfer of cognitive achievement?. Part VII Matching: Bennett and Desforges on matching; Matching (1) for the aquisition of new declarative knowledge; Matching (1) for the aquisition of new abilities or skills; Formative assessment, matching and assumptions of linearity; Implications for the organisation of learning. Part VIII Reliability, Validity and Criterion-referencing: The common language - obtaining reliability at the expense of validity; More about validity; Rich integrated competencies and the abilities of student teachers. Part IX Is there a Future for Assessment and Accountability?: Possibilities for schooling not dominated by instrumental accountability; Teachers as technicians?; Accountability and 'standards'?; A future for assessment.