Chang (2022)

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Chang, Hasok. (2022) The Ontology of Scientific Practice. In Barseghyan et al. (Eds.) (2022), 1-19.

Title The Ontology of Scientific Practice
Resource Type collection article
Author(s) Hasok Chang
Year 2022
Collection Barseghyan et al. (Eds.) (2022)
Pages 1-19


Any database project needs to be based on an ontology that is suitable for its subject matter. For the scientonomy project, it is important to conceive a good ontology of the human actions that constitute scientific practice, which allows rigorously conceived activity-based analyses of science. Mainstream philosophers of science have offered very precise analyses of scientific knowledge, but only in terms of beliefs and their assessments. Recent historians of science have been more attentive to the activities undertaken by scientists, but only offered imprecise analyses of them. Scientonomers have a chance to get the ontology right from this early stage of their enterprise. In this paper I make some programmatic proposals on the ontology of scientific work, in terms of epistemic activities and systems of practice. I also offer a framework for conceptualizing epistemic agents, and some clues on the ontology of the processes of inquiry. Scientonomy as the general “science of science” should not have an overly limited ontology. In particular, I suggest that the “scientific mosaic” should include a diverse array of elements and consider other aspects of methodology in addition to theory-assessment.