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## Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Colloquium Mathematical Philosophy, Remco Heesen (Carnegie Mellon) gives a talk at the MCMP Colloquium (8 January, 2015) titled "Vindicating Methodological Triangulation". Abstract: Social scientists use many different methods, and there are often substantial disagreements about which method is appropriate for a given research question. A proponent of methodological triangulation believes that if multiple methods yield the same answer that answer is confirmed more strongly than it could have been by any single method. Methodological purists, on the other hand, believe that one should choose a single appropriate method and stick with it. Using formal tools from voting theory, we show that triangulation is more likely to lead to the correct answer than purism, assuming the scientist is subject to some degree of diffidence about the relative merits of the various methods. This is true even when in fact only one of the methods is appropriate for the given research question.

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