Accidental Group

From Encyclopedia of Scientonomy
Jump to navigation Jump to search

What is accidental group? How should it be defined?

This term has to denote all those groups that are somehow accidental (e.g. left handed Armenian smokers). The task is to understand what makes these groups accidental.

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Nicholas Overgaard in 2016. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. Accidental Group (Overgaard-2017) is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available definition of the term. It is defined as: "A group that does not have a collective intentionality."

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this term (it includes all the instances when the term was accepted as a part of a community's taxonomy):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy19 May 2017The question became accepted with the publication of Overgaard's A Taxonomy for Social Agents of Scientific Change.Yes

All Theories

The following definitions of the term have been suggested:
TheoryFormulationFormulated In
Accidental Group (Overgaard-2017)A group that does not have a collective intentionality.2017
If a definition of this term is missing, please click here to add it.

Accepted Theories

The following definitions of the term have been accepted:
CommunityTheoryAccepted FromAccepted Until
ScientonomyAccidental Group (Overgaard-2017)2 February 2018

Suggested Modifications

Here is a list of modifications concerning this term:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2017-0012Scientonomy19 May 2017Accept a new taxonomy for group and its two sub-types - accidental group, and community.AcceptedA consensus has emerged after a long discussion that the distinction and the respective definitions should be accepted. It was noted that "these formulations tend to be the starting point for so many of our discussions"c1 and that "despite all disagreements that this taxonomy causes, it is actually accepted by the community".c2 Yet, it was also indicated that whereas the definition of group as "two or more people that share a characteristic" is the best we have at the moment, it may be potentially necessary to pursue the idea of redefining it as "one or more people..." to allow for one-scientist communities.c3 Finally, while a question was raised whether there is any "value in defining accidental groups as something separate from groups",c4 it was eventually agreed that it is important to draw "a clear distinction between the two kinds of groups as accidental groups and communities".c52 February 2018

Current Definition

In Scientonomy, the accepted definition of the term is Accidental Group (Overgaard-2017).

Accidental Group (Overgaard-2017) states: "A group that does not have a collective intentionality."

Accidental Group (Overgaard-2017).png

This definition aims to discern between accidental groups, i.e. the ones that don't have a collective intentionality, and actual communities, i.e. groups that do have collective intentionality.



There is currently no accepted view concerning the existence of accidental groups.


In Scientonomy, no classes are currently accepted as disjoint with Accidental Group.


No classes are currently accepted as subtypes of an accidental group.


No classes are currently accepted as supertypes of an accidental group.


No associations of an accidental group are currently accepted.

If a question concerning the ontology of an accidental group is missing, please add it here.


If a question concerning the dynamics of an accidental group is missing, please add it here.

Related Topics

This term is also related to the following topic(s):