Method Hierarchies Exist (Mercuri-Barseghyan-2019)

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This is an answer to the question Existence of Method Hierarchies that states "There are method hierarchies in the actual process of scientific change."

Method Hierarchies Exist was formulated by Hakob Barseghyan and Mathew Mercuri in 2019.1

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

This theory has never been accepted.

Suggestions To Accept

Here are all the modifications where the acceptance of this theory has been suggested:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2019-0013Scientonomy24 December 2019Accept 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.Open

Question Answered

Method Hierarchies Exist (Mercuri-Barseghyan-2019) is an attempt to answer the following question: Do method hierarchies exist?

See Existence of Method Hierarchies for more details.


As argued by Mercuri and Barseghyan, it is often the case that "criteria employed by the same epistemic agent constitute a certain preference hierarchy",1p. 45 illustrated among other things by the fact that "practitioners in different fields customarily speak of more or less reliable evidence".1p. 46 For example, when the community of art historians attempts to establish the authenticity of a certain work of art, they often accept the position of the expert they find most reliable; if, for whatever reason, this expert doesn't have a position on the authenticity of that work of art, the community refers to their second-best expert, and so on.2 Another example of method hierarchies comes from the field of clinical epidemiology that features "a variety of different requirements – from more stringent to more lenient".1p. 58 Thus, when the requirements of the randomized controlled trial method are met, the results of the study become accepted. If however, when no studies meet these requirements, clinical epidemiologists often accept the results of studies that satisfy less stringent requirements. Mercuri and Barseghyan discuss a number of such cases in their Method Hierarchies in Clinical Epidemiology.1


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  1. a b c d e  Mercuri, Mathew and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2019) Method Hierarchies in Clinical Epidemiology. Scientonomy 3, 45-61. Retrieved from
  2. ^  Loiselle, Mirka. (2017) Multiple Authority Delegation in Art Authentication. Scientonomy 1, 41-53. Retrieved from