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The crowbar model of method and its implications

Nickles, Thomas (2019) The crowbar model of method and its implications. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 34 (3). pp. 357-372. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

There is a rough, long-term tradeoff between rate of innovation and degree of strong realism in scientific practice, a point reflected in historically changing conceptions of method as they retreat from epistemological foundationism to a highly fallibilistic, modeling perspective. The successively more liberal, innovation-stimulating methods open up to investigation deep theoretical domains at the cost, in many cases, of moving away from strong realism as a likely outcome of research. The crowbar model of method highlights this tension, expressed as the crowbar compromise and the crowbar fallacy. The tools-to-theories heuristic, described and evaluated by Gigerenzer and colleagues, can be regarded as an attempt by some scientific realists to overcome this compromise. Instead, it is an instance of it. Nonetheless, in successful applications the crowbar model implies a modest, instrumental (nonrepresentational) realism.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Nickles, Thomasnickles@unr.edu0000-0003-1094-9976
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: crowbar, method, scientific innovation, heuristics, models, the tools-to-theories heuristic, scientific realism
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2019 00:26
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2019 00:26
Item ID: 16706
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: https://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.19070
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Technology
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: March 2019
Page Range: pp. 357-372
Volume: 34
Number: 3
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16706

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