Barseghyan and Mirkin (2019)

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Barseghyan, Hakob and Mirkin, Maxim. (2019) The Role of Technological Knowledge in Scientific Change. In Héder and Nádasi (Eds.) (2019), 5-17.

Title The Role of Technological Knowledge in Scientific Change
Resource Type collection article
Author(s) Hakob Barseghyan, Maxim Mirkin
Year 2019
Collection Héder and Nádasi (Eds.) (2019)
Pages 5-17


The current scientonomic discourse focuses largely on theories and methods of natural, social, and formal sciences, while the role of technological knowledge in the process of scientific change is virtually neglected. This neglect, we argue, has to do with the scientonomic distinction between two epistemic stances – acceptance of a theory as the best available description of its domain and its use in practical applications. The view that is implicit in contemporary scientonomy is that sciences alone can produce accepted knowledge, while technologies are all about knowledge use. In contrast, we argue that there is accepted propositional technological knowledge which plays an indispensable role in the process of scientific change. We demonstrate that technological disciplines do not merely use theories but also produce accepted theories, such as “x is an effective treatment for medical condition y”, “z is a viable technology for bridge-building”, and “p is a statistically valid technique for assessing public opinion about q”. There are both theoretical and historical reasons to believe that changes in technological knowledge exhibit the same patterns as changes in natural, social, and formal sciences. In addition, technological knowledge is intrinsically intertwined with scientific knowledge as accepted scientific and technological theories often jointly shape employed methods.