Talk:Stigler's law of eponymy

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VfD, anyone?[edit]

True or false: this page deserves to be on Vfd. 01:39, 27 May 2004 (UTC)

False. There are quite a few fans devoted to collecting "real-life" examples, which are legion, at least in mathematics. See List of misnamed theorems.---CH 18:55, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Churchill's law or Stigler's law?[edit]

I propose that "Stigler's law of eponymy" should be named "Churchill's law of eponymy". This a) ensures that the law is not self contradictory, and b) pays homage to the fact that Winston Churchill is falsely credited with coining quotations all to often. (TRD) Thu Sep 16 16:11:01 BST 2004

No, no, no, as the article says, Stigler himself credited the law to Merton, but it is called Stigler's law regardless. This self-referential aspect is absolutely delightful! See e.g. Cramer's Paradox in List of misnamed theorems.---CH 18:53, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Planck's constant[edit]

Is there any reference for the claim Planck's constant wasn't introduced by Planck? Notjim 22:38, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Planck's Constant was introduced by Planck. This article is wrong to cite Planck's Law as an example of this so-called Stingler's Law. --Armaetin (talk) 04:30, 6 May 2010 (UTC)


this should be merged with —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 9 July 2007

This is a crazy suggestion. The content of law and conjecture are unrelated. The Stiglers are not the same person although they are related, as father and son. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:09, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Stigler's law: No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer.
Stigler's conjecture: Credit for every idea in economics (and possibly other fields) is always given to the second person to have discovered it
It seems to me that the two are very closely related, the second is a strong version of the first, except that one is about "science", the other "economics". The articles should be merged.
Aleph-4 (talk) 16:28, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


Stigler's conjecture had little backing it other than one essay, which didn't actually refer to it as "Stigler's conjecture". The Wiki article was speculative, it had touches of OR. I've merged it into this one. Fences and windows (talk) 23:12, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Stephen or George?[edit]

From all I seen this "law" is usually attributed to George Stigler, Stephen's father (it might take me some time to track down the reference). Then there's the double attribution to Merton. Not sure this is correct, or it seems like somebody's trying to be ironic here.radek (talk) 05:23, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Arnold's Principle?[edit]

It seems to be called Arnold's Principle (apparently named for Vladimir Arnold) around here (Moscow). Is it worth mentioning? --January First-of-May (for fans of Star Trek here), September 23, 2009 22:16 local (18:16 UTC)

It is not only in Moscow; the mathematical community generally uses the name Arnold's Principle. Here is Arnold's article where he discusses it and says that to was named by Berry. This should be worked into the article: Bsimonca (talk) 16:04, 11 February 2011 (UTC) Barry Simon


What has this line to do with the rest of the article: "Recent (2011) research shows a decline in the practice of naming diseases after doctors."?

I suggest it be removed altogether. Nanobug (talk) 20:44, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Agree. Removed. Qwfp (talk) 19:17, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Clarke's First Law[edit]

Clarke's First Law:

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong

was more strongly put by Alfred Russel Wallace:

The whole history of science shows us that whenever the educated and scientific men of any age have denied the facts of other investigators on a priori grounds of absurdity or impossibility, the deniers have always been wrong.

--Pawyilee (talk) 14:19, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

However, Clarke's formulation seems to be more memorable for more people than Wallace's wording. Reify-tech (talk) 15:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
More to the point, Clark's quote was given a name. (Thus more-or-less demonstrating Stigler's law.) — Loadmaster (talk) 17:52, 24 July 2014 (UTC)


This is always laudable, but when it comes to a law, it is not useful add-on, but a pre-requisite. There is no question of a writer of a law disobeying his own law, even - and this is a critical point - he/she needs to lie to achieve that. For Stigler's Law to be a law, the owner very much needs to be someone other than Stigler. That's why I edited out "consciously making "Stigler's law" exemplify itself".

-- Nutria (talk) 11:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)