Delegation of Authority to Artifacts

Can there be delegation of authority to tools, instruments, other material objects, or to computer software?
Nicholas Overgaard explains the topic

Imagine a community which takes all of its scientific knowledge from a giant manuscript. Is the community delegating authority to the long-dead writers of this manuscript, or are they delegating to the book itself? When scientists use an instrument in an experiment, who are they delegating authority to? Standard research practice says that when using an instrument in an experiment, the scientist should cite the manufacturers of the instrument in their research paper. Does this indicate that authority is being delegated to the manufacturers rather than the tool itself? If authority can be delegated to a material object, does this mean that the object is a bearer of a mosaic? In addition, it seems as though that at times a community can delegate authority to instruments such as the software that analyzes the results of telescopic observations in order to locate exoplanets. The community customarily accepts the results of this analysis. Does this mean that authority is being delegated to computer software?

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Nicholas Overgaard and Hakob Barseghyan in 2016. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. At the moment, the question has no accepted answer in Scientonomy.


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Scientonomy1 April 2016It was acknowledged as an open question by the Scientonomy Seminar 2016.Yes

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This topic is a sub-topic of Epistemic Agents.

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Last modified on 3 September 2018, at 16:56