Theory Assessment Outcomes (Barseghyan-2015)

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This is an answer to the question Theory Assessment Outcomes that states "The possible outcomes of theory assessment are accept, not accept, and inconclusive."

Theory Assessment Outcomes (Barseghyan-2015).png

This version of Theory Assessment Outcomes was formulated by Hakob Barseghyan in 2015.1

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this theory:
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy1 January 2016The proposition became de facto accepted by the community at that time together with the whole theory of scientific change.No29 November 2017The taxonomy became rejected as a result of the acceptance of the new taxonomy by Patton, Overgaard, and Barseghyan. For details, refer to the modification.

Suggestions To Reject

These are all the modifications where the rejection of this theory has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2017-0004 Scientonomy 5 February 2017 Accept the reformulation of the second law which explicitly links theory assessment outcomes with theory acceptance/unacceptance. To that end, accept three new definitions for theory assessment outcomes (satisfied, not satisfied, and inconclusive) as well as the new ontology of theory assessment outcomes, and accept the new definition of employed method. Accepted The new formulation of the law became accepted as a result of a communal consensus. It was noted by the commentators that the "modification provides a much improved formulation of the 2nd law".c1 It was noted that the new formulation "decouples the method from acceptance outcomes" and "is needed to avoid a contradiction for cases where assessment by the method is inconclusive, but the theory is accepted".c2 It was agreed that the new law eliminates two of the major flaws of the previous formulation. First, it clearly states the relations between different assessment outcomes and the actual theory acceptance/unacceptance. Second, it clearly forbids certain conceivable courses of events and, thus, doesn't sounds like a tautology.c3 29 November 2017

Question Answered

Theory Assessment Outcomes (Barseghyan-2015) is an attempt to answer the following question: What outcomes can possibly obtain as a result of an assessment of a theory by a method? What is the complete list of theory assessment outcomes?

See Theory Assessment Outcomes for more details.


According to this ontology of theory assessment outcomes, when a theory is assessed by a method, one of the three following outcomes can obtain:1p. 199

  • Accept: this assessment outcome prescribes that the theory must be accepted.
  • Not Accept: this assessment outcome prescribes that the theory must not be accepted.
  • Inconclusive: this outcome allows for the the theory to be accepted but doesn't dictate so.

While the first two assessment outcomes are conclusive, the third outcome is inconclusive, as it permits more than one possible course of action. Thus, in this view, a theory's assessment outcome is not necessarily conclusive; an inconclusive outcome is also conceivable.


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Questions About This Theory

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