Compatibility Is a Subtype of Epistemic Stance (Fraser-Sarwar-2018)

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This is a theory that states "Compatibility is a subtype of Epistemic Stance, i.e. epistemic stance is a supertype of compatibility."

Compatibility Is a Subtype of Epistemic Stance (Fraser-Sarwar-2018) was formulated by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar in 2018.1 It is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available answer to the question.

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of Compatibility Is a Subtype of Epistemic Stance (Fraser-Sarwar-2018):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy1 October 2021The theory became accepted as a result of the acceptance of the respective modification.Yes

Questions Answered

Compatibility Is a Subtype of Epistemic Stance (Fraser-Sarwar-2018) is an attempt to answer the following questions: Subtypes of Epistemic Stance and Supertypes of Compatibility.


According to Fraser and Sarwar, "compatibility is a distinct epistemic stance that agents can take towards elements".1p.70 They show this by arguing that it is possible to take the stance of compatibility towards a pair of elements without taking any of the other stances towards these elements. Thus, compatibility is distinct from acceptance, since two elements need not be in the same mosaic, or even accepted by any agent to be considered, in principle, compatible. For example, an epistemic agent may consider Ptolemaic astrology compatible with Aristotelian natural philosophy without accepting either Ptolemaic astrology or Aristotelian natural philosophy. Compatibility is also different from use, since a pair of theories can be considered compatible regardless of whether any of them is considered useful. For instance, one can consider quantum mechanics and evolutionary biology compatible, while finding only the former useful. Finally, compatibility is also distinct from pursuit, since an agent can consider a pair of theories compatible with or without pursuing either. An agent, for instance, may find two alternative quantum theories pursuitworthy while clearly realizing that the two are incompatible.


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  1. a b  Fraser, Patrick and Sarwar, Ameer. (2018) A Compatibility Law and the Classification of Theory Change. Scientonomy 2, 67-82. Retrieved from