From Encyclopedia of Scientonomy
Jump to: navigation, search

Accept the definition of compatibility, as the ability of two elements to coexist in the same mosaic. Also replace the zeroth law with the compatibility corollary.

The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar on 28 January 2018.1 The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.


The current zeroth law of scientific change is problematic in many respects. First, it pertains only to epistemic elements that are part of the mosaic, and says nothing about the compatibility of elements outside the mosaic. In addition, unlike the other accepted laws of scientific change, it attempts to explain the process of scientific change from a static perspective that deals with the state of the scientific mosaic at some particular point in time, rather than a dynamic perspective that describes the actual mechanics of the process of scientific change. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the current zeroth law is tautological, as it pretty much restates what is implicit in our notion of compatibility. While there is currently no explicitly accepted definition of compatibility, it can roughly be explicated as the ability of two elements to coexist within a particular mosaic. If this is what we currently mean by compatibility, then the formulation of the current zeroth law is a direct consequence of it, which means that the law lacks empirical content. For all these reasons, a series of modifications are necessary, including the replacement of the zeroth law with a new definition of compatibility, and the compatibility corollary, which collectively preserve the gist of the current zeroth law.


Theories To Accept

Compatibility (Fraser-Sarwar-2018).png

Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018).png

Theories To Reject

Questions Answered

This modification attempts to answer the following question(s):


The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.

Click on the Discussion tab for comments.


  1. ^  Fraser, Patrick and Sarwar, Ameer. (2018) A Compatibility Law and the Classification of Theory Change. Scientonomy 2, 67-82. Retrieved from