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Bronze-level article

Golden hammer

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"♫♬If I had a hammer…"[1]
Cogito ergo sum
Logic and rhetoric
Icon logic.svg
Key articles
General logic
Bad logic
If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

A golden hammer is the luxury version of Maxwell's silver hammerWikipedia a logical fallacy that occurs when you propose the same, simple solution (or type of solution) to every problem.

Alternate names[edit]

  • 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'sWikipedia 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'sWikipedia 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. But not for lack of trying.Wikipedia


See also[edit]

Want to read this in another language?[edit]

Русскоязычным вариантом данной статьи является статья Ошибка золотого молота

External links[edit]