Barseghyan (2018)

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Barseghyan, Hakob. (2018) Redrafting the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 13-38. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31032.

Title Redrafting the Ontology of Scientific Change
Resource Type journal article
Author(s) Hakob Barseghyan
Year 2018
URL https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31032
Journal Scientonomy
Volume 2
Pages 13-38

Abstract

Hakob Barseghyan presenting the redrafted ontology at the 3rd annual scientonomy meeting

Recent developments in theoretical scientonomy coupled with a reflection on the practice of the Encyclopedia of Scientonomy all suggest that the ontology of scientific change currently accepted in scientonomy has serious flaws. The new ontology, suggested in this paper, solves some of the issues permeating the current ontology. Building on Rawleigh’s suggestion, it considers a theory as an attempt to answer a certain question. It also introduces the category of definition as a subtype of theory. It also reveals that methods and methodologies of the currently accepted ontology do not differ from the perspective of their propositional content and, thus, belong to the same class of epistemic elements. This is captured in the new definition of method as a set of criteria for theory evaluation. It is also argued that methods are a subtype of normative theories. It is shown that normative theories of all types, including methods, ethical norms, and aesthetic norms, can be both accepted and employed. Finally, a new definition of scientific mosaic is suggested to fit the new ontology.

Theories

Here are all the theories formulated in Barseghyan (2018):
TheoryTypeFormulationFormulated In
Theory Acceptance (Barseghyan-2018)DefinitionA theory is said to be accepted by an epistemic agent if it is taken as the best available answer to its respective question.2018
Definition (Barseghyan-2018)DefinitionA statement of the meaning of a term.2018
Norm Employment (Barseghyan-2018)DefinitionA norm is said to be employed if its requirements constitute the actual expectations of an epistemic agent.2018
Method (Barseghyan-2018)DefinitionA set of criteria for theory evaluation.2018
Scientific Mosaic (Barseghyan-2018)DefinitionA set of all epistemic elements accepted and/or employed by an epistemic agent.2018
Methodology (Barseghyan-2018)DefinitionA normative discipline that formulates the rules which ought to be employed in theory assessment.2018
Epistemic Stances Towards Norms - Employment (Barseghyan-2018)DescriptiveIn addition to stances that can be taken towards theories of all types, norms can in principle be employed by epistemic agents.2018
Epistemic Elements - Questions and Theories (Barseghyan-2018)DescriptiveThe two basic classes of elements that can undergo scientific change are questions and theories, where each theory is an attempt to answer a certain question, and method is a subtype of normative theory.2018
Epistemic Stances Towards Methods - None (Barseghyan-2018)DescriptiveThere are no additional epistemic stances that can be taken exclusively towards methods.2018

Suggested Modifications

Here are all the modifications suggested in Barseghyan (2018):

  • Sciento-2018-0005: Accept the new definitions of method as a set of criteria for theory evaluation and methodology as a normative discipline that formulates the rules which ought to be employed in theory assessment. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan on 8 October 2018.1 The modification was accepted on 1 September 2019. The consensus concerning this modification emerged primarily off-line, following a series of discussions. It was noted that the new definition "does clarify the scientific understanding of methods as normative theories that can be both accepted and employed".c1 It was also highlighted that the consensus on this modification "has been manifested on several occasions, including the first scientonomy conference in May 2019 in Toronto, where several of the speakers treated the suggested definition of method as accepted".c2

Importantly, it was also agreed that the acceptance of "this definition will require a whole series of changes to other theories already accepted by the scientonomic community to accord with the new definitions, for example, the Methodology can shape Method theorem."c3 This raises an important workflow-related question: does this mean that the encyclopedia editors have the right to make the respective changes?c4

  • Sciento-2018-0006: Accept the new ontology of epistemic elements with, theories and questions are the two basic epistemic elements where and each theory is an attempt to answer a certain question, theories can be of three types – descriptive, normative, or definitions, and methods are a subtype of normative theory. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan on 8 October 2018.1 The modification was accepted on 1 September 2019. Following a series of off-line discussions, a consensus emerged concerning this modification: it was agreed that the modification is to be accepted.c1 It was mentioned that most of the elements of this new ontology "has already been accepted by the scientonomic community".c2 It was also stressed that "the consensus has been manifested on several occasions, including the first scientonomy conference in May 2019 in Toronto, where several of the presenters treated this new ontology as accepted."c3 The fact that the consensus concerning this modification has been achieved primarily off-line, i.e. outside of the discussion pages of this encyclopedia suggests that the scientonomic "workflow must have a way of accommodating these discussions".c4
  • Sciento-2018-0007: Accept the definition of definition as a statement of the meaning of a term. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan on 8 October 2018.1 The modification was accepted on 1 September 2019. The consensus on this modification emerged primarily off-line. It was agreed that whether or not "definitions can have a truth value" is irrelevant to this modification and that "the question of most relevance to scientonomy is whether definitions can be accepted or not accepted by an epistemic agent".c1 It was also noted that the consensus concerning this modification "has manifested on several occasions, including the first scientonomy conference in May 2019 in Toronto."c2
  • Sciento-2018-0008: Accept the definition of norm employment. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan on 8 October 2018.1 The modification was accepted on 1 September 2019. The consensus on this modification emerged mostly off-line.c1 Importantly, it was also emphasized that its acceptance may have a ripple effect on other accepted definitions.c2 It was not clear whether "the acceptance of a new theory could be considered to implicitly grant permission to the editors to make small changes to old theories for the sake of maintaining consistency, without the need for explicit review and acceptance".c3 Thus, a new question concerning handling this ripple effect was accepted.
  • Sciento-2018-0009: Accept the new definition of scientific mosaic as a set of all epistemic elements accepted and/or employed by the epistemic agent. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan on 8 October 2018.1 The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.
  • Sciento-2018-0010: Accept that epistemic stances of all types can be taken explicitly and/or implicitly and that epistemic elements of all types can be explicit and/or implicit. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan on 8 October 2018.1 The modification was accepted on 1 September 2019. The consensus concerning this modification emerged primarily off-line.c1 It was agreed that this modification is to be accepted, as it "opens the way for any epistemic stance or element to be either implicit or explicit, with the arbiter for any given case being empirical evidence".c2

References

  1. a b c d e f  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2018) Redrafting the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 13-38. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31032.

Contributors

Hakob Barseghyan (100.0%)