Accept the existence of method hierarchies and the new definition of method hierarchy as a set of methods where theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are higher in the hierarchy are preferred to theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are lower in the hierarchy. Also accept the question of conceptualizing method hierarchies.
Growing body of evidence from various fields suggests that often employed methods constitute hierarchies. Thus, scientists from different fields customarily speak of more or less reliable evidence. For instance, to establish the authenticity of a work of art, art historians accept the opinion of the most credible expert. If such an opinion is, for whatever reason, unavailable, art historians often refer to the second-best expert, and so on.2 We find similar method hierarchies in the field of clinical epidemiology, where the community has a certain hierarchy of expectations – from stricter to laxer. When evaluating the efficacy of a certain exposure (e.g. a medical therapy, surgical technique, or risk factor), clinical epidemiologists first check if the exposure has been tested in trials that satisfy the strictest requirements. If such trials are not found, they check to see if the exposure has been tested in trials that satisfies the laxer requirements in the hierarchy, and so on. This suggests that employed methods can, at times, have different weights. Despite this accumulating evidence, the very existence of the phenomenon of method hierarchy is yet to be accepted in scientonomy.
Theories To Accept
- Method Hierarchy (Mercuri-Barseghyan-2019): A set of methods is said to constitute a hierarchy iff theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are higher in the hierarchy are preferred to theories that satisfy the requirements of methods that are lower in the hierarchy.
- Method Hierarchies Exist (Mercuri-Barseghyan-2019): There are method hierarchies in the actual process of scientific change.
Questions To Accept
- Conceptualizing Method Hierarchies: Should we conceive of a method hierarchy as being composed of individual employed methods/requirements, or should we think of it as constituting one composite method with a system of if-s and else-s, and-s and or-s
This modification attempts to answer the following question(s):
- Method Hierarchy: What is method hierarchy? How should it be defined?
- Existence of Method Hierarchies: Do method hierarchies exist?
The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.
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- Mercuri, Mathew and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2019) Method Hierarchies in Clinical Epidemiology. Scientonomy 3, 45-61. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33559.
- Loiselle, Mirka. (2017) Multiple Authority Delegation in Art Authentication. Scientonomy 1, 41-53. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/28233.