Compatibility of Mosaic Elements
Are all elements within a mosaic compatible with one another?
Is it possible for two incompatible elements to be part of the same mosaic, or are the elements of any given mosaic always compatible with one another?
In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar in 2018. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community.
In Scientonomy, the accepted answers to the question can be summarized as follows:
- At any moment of time, the elements of the scientific mosaic are compatible with each other.
- If a pair of elements satisfies the compatibility criteria employed at the time, it becomes compatible within the mosaic; if it does not, it is deemed incompatible; and if assessment is inconclusive, the pair can become compatible, incompatible, or its status may be unknown.
|Community||Accepted From||Acceptance Indicators||Still Accepted||Accepted Until||Rejection Indicators|
|Scientonomy||28 December 2018||The question became accepted with the publication of the paper by Fraser & Sarwar.||Yes|
|Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018)||At any moment of time, the elements of the scientific mosaic are compatible with each other.||2018|
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|Community||Theory||Accepted From||Accepted Until|
|Scientonomy||Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018)||3 June 2020|
|Modification||Community||Date Suggested||Summary||Verdict||Verdict Rationale||Date Assessed|
|Sciento-2018-0015||Scientonomy||28 December 2018||Accept the definition of compatibility, as the ability of two elements to coexist in the same mosaic. Also replace the zeroth law with the compatibility corollary.||Accepted||While the modification induced a few comments on the encyclopedia, it became accepted as a result of discussions that took place mostly offline. It was agreed that the modification "comes to remedy one of the glaring omissions" in the current zeroth which doesn't "say much above and beyond what is already implicit in the notion of compatibility"c1 as it "is lacking in empirical content, and should be replaced with a definition of compatibility".c2 It was also noted that the proposed "definition of compatibility criteria... captures the gist of the concept as it has been used in our community".c3 It was also agreed that "the compatibility corollary follows from this definition".c4 c5 Finally, the community accepted that the definition and the corollary "recover the content of the Zeroth Law".c6||3 June 2020|
In Scientonomy, the accepted answers to the question are Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018) and The Law of Compatibility (Fraser-Sarwar-2018).
Compatibility Corollary (Fraser-Sarwar-2018) states: "At any moment of time, the elements of the scientific mosaic are compatible with each other."
The corollary is meant to restate the content of Harder's the zeroth law of scientific change. Since the corollary follows deductively from the definition of compatibility, it highlights that the zeroth law as it was formulated by Harder is tautologous. Since the corollary covers the same idea as the zeroth law, all the theorems that were thought to be deducible by means of the zeroth law (e.g. the theory rejection theorem or the method rejection theorem) can now be considered deducible by means of the corollary.
Mechanism of Compatibility
The Law of Compatibility (Fraser-Sarwar-2018) states: "If a pair of elements satisfies the compatibility criteria employed at the time, it becomes compatible within the mosaic; if it does not, it is deemed incompatible; and if assessment is inconclusive, the pair can become compatible, incompatible, or its status may be unknown."
The law of compatibility links the compatibility criteria with various assessment outcomes. If compatibility is defined as the ability of a pair of elements to co-exist in the same mosaic, then the assessment for compatibility is essentially the process by which the epistemic agent decides whether any given pair of elements (i.e. theories, questions, methods) can be simultaneously part of their mosaic. Such an assessment can yield three possible outcomes - satisfied, not satisfied, and inconclusive.1 Accordingly, the law of compatibility states that if a pair of elements does satisfy the compatibility criteria of the time, then it is deemed as compatible. If, however, an element is taken to be incompatible with the other one, then the pair is deemed as incompatible. Finally, the assessment of compatibility may be inconclusive. In this case, the pair may be deemed compatible, incompatible, or its status may remain unknown. The diagram below summarizes the relation between assessment outcomes and their effects:
This question is a subquestion of Mechanism of Compatibility.
- ^ Fraser, Patrick and Sarwar, Ameer. (2018) A Compatibility Law and the Classification of Theory Change. Scientonomy 2, 67-82. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31278.