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“”If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
A golden hammer is
the luxury version of Maxwell's silver hammer a logical fallacy that occurs when you propose the same, simple solution (or type of solution) to every problem.
- Baruch's Observation
- Maslow's hammer
- Kaplan's hammer
- Birmingham screwdriver
- Law of the hammer
- Law of the instrument
- Persimplex responsum
- "Cookie cutter solution" is the management speak version.
The name comes from Abraham Maslow's 1966 statement:
“”I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.
An earlier (yet less famous) quote comes from Abraham Kaplan's 1964 statement:
“”I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.
Essentially, not everything is a nail; no solution can fix every problem. There's always the possibility that we just haven't built a big enough hammer yet, though.
- Every panacea
- Goddidit and variants
- Some flavors of libertarians view free market economics this way.
- Conversely, many Communists treat the prospect of a planned economy with the same overconfidence.