Necessary Elements

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How can the process of scientific change get started? What are the minimum necessary requirements for science?

This question seeks to identify what conditions are necessary for the process of scientific change to occur. In the scientonomic community, this question addresses what elements, if any, are necessary in order for a community to begin to seek out the best possible descriptions of the world. Furthermore, it seeks to answer whether such an element is a theory, or a method.

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Hakob Barseghyan in 2015. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. Non-Empty Mosaic theorem (Barseghyan-2015) is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available theory on the subject. Non-Empty Mosaic theorem (Barseghyan-2015) states "In order for the process of scientific change to be possible, the mosaic must necessarily contain at least one element. Scientific change is impossible in an empty mosaic."

Prehistory

Although the scientonomic notion of necessary mosaic elements is unique to scientonomy, the notion of necessary knowledge has been covered extensively within the philosophy of science. In Descartes’ Meditations, he presents the famous cogito ergo sum argument as a justification for the a priori necessity of existential knowledge of some aspect of ‘the self’ irrespective of physical experience. He argues that, even if one doubts the existence and nature of the physical world, they still have knowledge of at least one objective truth in the world, namely, knowledge of their own intellectual existence. Likewise, Leibniz used his principle of sufficient reason to argue for the a priori necessity of the Uniformity of Nature, that is, that we know the universe behaves in similar ways under similar circumstances. He argued that if we accept his principle, we are lead to conclude that similar circumstances yield similar phenomena as there is a similar reason for the same phenomena to obtain. Kant also introduced his a priori forms, universal causation and substance-property dualism, as necessary components of our understanding of physical reality. The conception of necessary elements in scientific mosaics is analogous to these notions of a priori necessary metaphysical knowledge of the world.

History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this question (it includes all the instances when the question was accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by a community):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy1 January 2016This is when the community accepted its first answer to the question, the Non-Empty Mosaic theorem, which indicates that the question is itself considered legitimate.Yes

All Theories

The following theories have attempted to answer this question:
TheoryFormulationFormulated In
Non-Empty Mosaic theorem (Barseghyan-2015)In order for the process of scientific change to be possible, the mosaic must necessarily contain at least one element. Scientific change is impossible in an empty mosaic.2015
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Accepted Theories

The following theories have been accepted as answers to this question:
CommunityTheoryAccepted FromAccepted Until
ScientonomyNon-Empty Mosaic theorem (Barseghyan-2015)1 January 2016

Suggested Modifications

According to our records, there have been no suggested modifications on this topic.

Current View

In Scientonomy community, the accepted theory on the subject is Non-Empty Mosaic theorem (Barseghyan-2015). It states: "In order for the process of scientific change to be possible, the mosaic must necessarily contain at least one element. Scientific change is impossible in an empty mosaic."

Non-empty-mosaic-theorem-box-only.jpg

The non-empty mosaic theorem asserts that in order for a process of scientific change to be possible, the mosaic must necessarily contain at least one element. Scientific change is impossible in an empty mosaic. It can be deduced from the second law, which asserts that in order to become accepted into the mosaic, a theory is assessed by the method actually employed at the time, and the third law, which asserts that a method becomes employed only when it is deducible from other employed methods and accepted theories of the time.1p. 226 Read More

Open Questions

The following related topic(s) currently lack an accepted answer:

  • Necessary Questions: Are there questions that are necessarily part of any mosaic? Should there be a minimum number of accepted questions in an epistemic community in order for that community to experience scientific change? The topic has no accepted answer in Scientonomy.
  • Necessary Theories: Are there theories that are necessarily part of any mosaic? The topic has no accepted answer in Scientonomy.

Related Topics

This topic is a sub-topic of Mechanism of Scientific Change. It has the following sub-topic(s):

References

  1. ^  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.

Contributors

Patrick Fraser (42.1%), Jacob MacKinnon (23.6%), Hakob Barseghyan (4.0%), Paul Patton (30.4%)