Delineating Theory (Patton-Al-Zayadi-2021)

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This is a definition of Delineating Theory that states "A second-order theory identifying the set of core questions of a discipline."

Delineating Theory (Patton-Al-Zayadi-2021).png

This definition of Delineating Theory was formulated by Paul Patton and Cyrus Al-Zayadi in 2021.1

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

This definition has never been accepted.

Suggestions To Accept

Here are all the modifications where the acceptance of this definition has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2021-0006 Scientonomy 1 August 2021 Accept new definitions of subquestion, core question, core theory, discipline, delineating theory, subdiscipline, and discipline acceptance. Open

Question Answered

Delineating Theory (Patton-Al-Zayadi-2021) is an attempt to answer the following question: What is delineating theory? How should it be defined?

See Delineating Theory for more details.


One can specify a discipline in terms of a set of its core questions. A delineating theory is a second-order theory identifying this set of core questions, and allowing it to exist as an epistemic element within the mosaic.1 For example, the delineating theory of modern physics might identify 'How do matter and energy behave?' as a core question of modern physics.


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Questions About This Definition

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  1. a b  Patton, Paul and Al-Zayadi, Cyrus. (2021) Disciplines in the Scientonomic Ontology. Scientonomy 4, 59-85. Retrieved from