Of Surrogacy, Circularity, Causality and Near-Tautologies: A Response
Gigerenzer (1998) agrees with our critique of mainstream work (Wallach & Wallach, 1994, 1998). However, while he views near-tautologies as an additional species of surrogates for theory, we believe near-tautologies are implied by entrenched and uncontested proto-theories that are not without function, but pointless to subject to empirical test. Schaller and Crandall (1998) seem to have backed down from Schaller, Crandall, Stangor and Neuberg's (1995) earlier position that the concept of near-tautologies as developed by Wallach and Wallach (1994, 1998) is itself misguided. Instead, Schaller and Crandall now seek to distinguish ‘strong-form’ and ‘weak-form’ near-tautologies, and claim that our argument against the usefulness of testing hypotheses derivable from near-tautologies holds only for the ‘strong’ form while the ‘weak’ form occurs in our derivations. We show here that their distinction is problematic and that supposed ‘weak-form’ as well as ‘strong-form’ near-tautologies are unfalsifiable. © 1998, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.
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