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Loose talk kills : what’s worrying about unity of method.

Cartwright, N. (2016) 'Loose talk kills : what’s worrying about unity of method.', Philosophy of science., 83 (5). pp. 768-778.


There is danger in stressing commonalities among methods because the differences matter in fixing the meaning of our claims. Different methods can, and often do, test the same claim. But it takes a strong network of theory and empirical results to ensure that. Failing that, we are likely to fall into inference by pun. We use one set of methods to establish a claim, then draw inferences licensed by a similar-sounding claim that calls for different methods of test. Our inferences fail and bridges we build (or policies we set) depending on them fall down.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© Philosophy of Science 2016
Date accepted:14 December 2015
Date deposited:31 August 2016
Date of first online publication:16 June 2016
Date first made open access:16 June 2017

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