PhilSci Archive

Vindicating Methodological Triangulation

Heesen, Remco and Bright, Liam Kofi and Zucker, Andrew (2019) Vindicating Methodological Triangulation. Synthese, 196 (8). pp. 3067-3081. ISSN 1573-0964

This is the latest version of this item.

[img]
Preview
Text
Heesen et al 2019 Vindicating Methodological Triangulation (Synthese).pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (455kB) | Preview

Abstract

Social scientists use many different methods, and there are often substantial disagreements about which method is appropriate for a given research question. In response to this uncertainty about the relative merits of different methods, W. E. B. Du Bois advocated for and applied "methodological triangulation". This is to use multiple methods simultaneously in the belief that, where one is uncertain about the reliability of any given method, if multiple methods yield the same answer that answer is confirmed more strongly than it could have been by any single method. Against this, methodological purists believe that one should choose a single appropriate method and stick with it. Using tools from voting theory, we show Du Boisian methodological triangulation to be more likely to yield the correct answer than purism, assuming the scientist is subject to some degree of diffidence about the relative merits of the various methods. This holds even when in fact only one of the methods is appropriate for the given research question.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Heesen, Remcor.heesen@lse.ac.uk0000-0003-3823-944X
Bright, Liam Kofiliamkbright@gmail.com0000-0001-5450-8748
Zucker, Andrewandrewz@andrew.cmu.edu
Keywords: Philosophy of social science; Methodological triangulation; Formal epistemology; Voting theory; W. E. B. Du Bois
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Depositing User: Remco Heesen
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2019 02:38
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 14:13
Item ID: 16250
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-016-1294-7
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-016-1294-7
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Date: August 2019
Page Range: pp. 3067-3081
Volume: 196
Number: 8
ISSN: 1573-0964
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16250

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item