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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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Scientonomy : Journal for the Science of Science
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2560-9068 - ISSN (Online) 2560-9076
Published by U of Toronto Homepage  [41 journals]
  • Question Dynamics

    • Authors: Hakob Barseghyan, Nichole Levesley
      Pages: 1 - 19
      Abstract: The paper presents a new scientonomic account of question dynamics. To explain the process of question acceptance and rejection, we begin by introducing the notion of epistemic presupposition and show how it’s different from the notion of logical presupposition. With the notion of epistemic presupposition at hand, we formulate the law of question acceptance, a new scientonomic axiom, which states that a question becomes accepted only if all of its epistemic presuppositions are accepted, and it is accepted that the question is answerable. We then show how the process of question rejection can be explained by means of the question rejection theorem, which states that a question becomes rejected when other elements that are incompatible with the question become accepted. To deduce this theorem in the usual scientonomic fashion (from the first law and the compatibility corollary), we first ascertain that the notion of compatibility/incompatibility is applicable to questions and show that one can legitimately speak of both question-theory and question-question incompatibility. We conclude by providing a quick illustration of the historical applicability of this new framework and suggest a number of questions for future research. Suggested Modifications [Sciento-2021-0001]: Accept the following definitions of logical presupposition and epistemic presupposition:
      Logical Presupposition ≡ a theory is said to be a logical presupposition of a question, iff the theory is logically entailed by any direct answer to the question.
      Epistemic Presupposition ≡ a theory is said to be an epistemic presupposition of a question for some agent, iff the agent accepts that accepting any direct answer to the question will necessitate accepting the theory. [Sciento-2021-0002]: Accept the law of question acceptance as a new scientonomic axiom:
      The Law of Question Acceptance: a question becomes accepted only if all of its epistemic presuppositions are accepted, and it is accepted that the question is answerable. Accept the question rejection theorem as a deductive consequence of the first law and the compatibility corollary:
      Question Rejection Theorem: a question become rejected when other elements that are incompatible with the question become accepted. Also accept the following questions as legitimate topics of scientonomic inquiry:
      Role of sociocultural factors in question acceptance: what is the role of sociocultural factors, such as economics or politics, in the process of question acceptance'
      Role of employed methods in question acceptance: is the process of question acceptance affected by employed methods'
      PubDate: 2021-08-01
      DOI: 10.33137/js.v4i0.37120
      Issue No: Vol. 4 (2021)
       
  • Scientific Error and Error Handling

    • Authors: Sarah Machado-Marques, Paul Patton
      Pages: 21 - 39
      Abstract: Error is a common part of scientific practice, which must be accounted for by scientonomy. A scientific error occurs when an agent accepts a theory that should not have been accepted given that agent’s employed method. One might suspect that the handling of scientific error seems to violate the theory rejection theorem according to which a theory becomes rejected only when other theories that are incompatible with the theory become accepted, because it appears as though a theory isn’t replaced by anything. Here, we analyze several instances of scientific error and show that error handling, when properly analyzed, is fully consistent with the theory rejection theorem. We show that instances of scientific error typically involve the rejection of an erroneous conclusion as well as one or more of the premises of the argument that leads to that erroneous conclusion. In most cases, first-order propositions of the original erroneously accepted theory are replaced by other first-order propositions incompatible with them. In some cases, however, first-order propositions are replaced by second-order propositions asserting the lack of sufficient reason for accepting these first-order propositions. In both cases, such a replacement is fully consistent with the theory rejection theorem. Suggested Modifications [Sciento-2021-0003]: Accept the following definition of error:
      Error ≡ An epistemic agent is said to commit an error if the agent accepts a theory that should not have been accepted given that agent’s employed method. [Sciento-2021-0004]: Provided that the previous modification is accepted, accept that the handling of scientific error as defined above is compatible with the theory rejection theorem.
      PubDate: 2021-08-01
      DOI: 10.33137/js.v4i0.37121
      Issue No: Vol. 4 (2021)
       
  • Element Decay

    • Authors: Sanghoon Oh
      Pages: 41 - 58
      Abstract: This paper attempts to establish the existence of element decay by making a historical case for the existence of theory decay, a phenomenon where theories leave an agent’s mosaic without any re-evaluation or decision on the agent’s part. The phenomenon of theory decay is to be theoretically distinguished from rejection without replacement; while the latter is a result of an agent’s deliberation, the former is a result of an agent’s inaction. To locate historical instances of theory decay, there should be evidence that the agent under study existed continuously throughout the period under study, that the theory was accepted at some point and unaccepted at some later point, and that the theory left the mosaic without any decision on the part of the agent. With these indicators at hand, I discuss five potentially promising historical cases: Poisson distribution, the Aharonov-Bohm effect, Damascus steel, Greek fire, and Cremonese violins. I argue that there is solid historical evidence to interpret the last case as an instance of element decay, which is sufficient to establish the existence of the phenomenon. I show that element decay is best seen as a non-scientonomic phenomenon; its existence highlights that individual and communal agents have limited capacities of knowledge retention and transmission and, when these limits are reached, element decay often takes place. This suggests that sufficient epistemic capacity to retain and transmit knowledge is a necessary precondition for the existence of scientonomic patterns, which emerge and hold only when the agent has measures in place to counteract potential element decay. Suggested Modifications [Sciento-2021-0005]: Accept that there is element decay, a phenomenon where elements of an agent’s mosaic cease to be part of the mosaic without any re-evaluation by the agent or any decision to reject that element. Accept the following as necessary indicators of theory decay:
      Agent Continuity: there should be historical evidence that the agent in question continuously existed during the time period under study.
      Change from Theory Acceptance to Unacceptance: there should be clear indications of a theory being accepted at some point and unaccepted at some later point.
      Theory Unacceptance Without Assessment: there should be clear evidence that the theory became unaccepted without any theoretical assessment on the part of the agent. Also accept that element decay is a non-scientonomic phenomenon.
      PubDate: 2021-08-01
      DOI: 10.33137/js.v4i0.37122
      Issue No: Vol. 4 (2021)
       
  • Disciplines in the Scientonomic Ontology

    • Authors: Paul Patton, Cyrus Al-Zayadi
      Pages: 59 - 85
      Abstract: The role of categories of knowledge, or disciplines, in science has not previously been explored in scientonomy. While disciplinary communities devoted to the production of knowledge are a modern phenomenon, the practice of dividing knowledge into categories is a universal feature of science. Although at any moment of time, many questions and theories can be part of a given discipline, not all of these are essential to the discipline. We show that two components are essential to a discipline: the discipline’s core questions as well as the discipline’s delineating theory, a second-order theory that identifies these questions as essential to the discipline. If the questions of one discipline are a proper subset of the questions of another discipline, the former discipline is a subdiscipline of the latter. Since a discipline is a complex entity consisting of questions and a theory, epistemic agents can take epistemic stances towards disciplines. A discipline is said to be accepted if its core questions and its delineating theory are all accepted. To illustrate the applicability of these new concepts, the transition from physical to biological anthropology is discussed. Suggested Modifications [Sciento-2021-0006]: Accept the following definitions of subquestion, core question, core theory, discipline, delineating theory, subdiscipline, and discipline acceptance:
      Subquestion ≡ a question Q is a subquestion of another question Q', iff any direct answer to Q is also a partial answer to Q'.
      Core Question ≡ a core question of a discipline is a question identified in the discipline’s delineating theory as definitive of the discipline.
      Core Theory ≡ a core theory of a discipline is a theory presupposed by the discipline’s core questions.
      Discipline ≡ a discipline is characterized by (1) a non-empty set of core questions Q and (2) the delineating theory stating that Q are the core questions of the discipline.
      Delineating Theory ≡ a second-order theory identifying the set of core questions of a discipline.
      Subdiscipline ≡ a discipline A is a subdiscipline of another discipline B, iff the set of questions of A, QA, is a proper subset of the questions of B, QB, i.e. if QA ⊂ QB.
      Discipline Acceptance ≡ A discipline is said to be accepted by an epistemic agent if that agent accepts the core questions specified in the discipline’s delineating theory as well as the delineating theory itself. Also accept the following question as a legitimate topic of scientonomic inquiry:
      Mechanism of Discipline Acceptance: what is the mechanism of discipline acceptance' How do disciplines become accepted'
      Mechanism of Discipline Rejection: what is the mechanism of discipline rejection' How do disciplines become rejected'
      Theories Shaping Core Questions: how do theories within a discipline shape and change the core questions of the disciplines'
      PubDate: 2021-08-01
      DOI: 10.33137/js.v4i0.37123
      Issue No: Vol. 4 (2021)
       
  • A Diagrammatic Notation for Visualizing Epistemic Entities and Relations

    • Authors: Kye Palider, Paul Patton, Hakob Barseghyan, Julia Da Silva, Torin Doppelt, Nichole Levesley, Jessica Rapson, Ameer Sarwar, Jamie Shaw, Yifang Zhang, Amna Zulfiqar
      Pages: 87 - 139
      Abstract: This paper presents a diagrammatic notation for visualizing epistemic entities and relations. The notation was created during the Visualizing Worldviews project funded by the University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute and has been further developed by the scholars participating in the university’s Research Opportunity Program. Since any systematic diagrammatic notation should be based on a solid ontology of the respective domain, we first outline the current state of the scientonomic ontology. We then proceed to providing diagrammatic tools for visualizing the epistemic entities and relations of this ontology. These basic diagramming techniques allow us to construct diagrams of various types for both synchronic and diachronic visualizations. The paper concludes by highlighting some future research directions. As the notation presented here is de facto accepted and used in scientonomy, the paper suggests no modifications.
      PubDate: 2021-12-24
      DOI: 10.33137/js.v4i0.37904
      Issue No: Vol. 4 (2021)
       
 
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