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What is discipline? How should it be defined?

Most epistemic agents classify knowledge into disciplines; e.g. disciplines are a ubiquitous feature of modern science. Thus, having a definition of discipline is an important first step in understanding the role of disciplines in the process of scientific change.

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Paul Patton and Cyrus Al-Zayadi in 2021. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. At the moment, the term has no accepted definition in Scientonomy.

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
Scientonomy1 August 2021This is when Patton and Al-Zayadi's Disciplines in the Scientonomic Ontology that offered a definition of the term was published. This is a good indication that the question of how the term is to be defined is considered legitimate by the community.Yes

All Theories

The following definitions of the term have been suggested:
TheoryFormulationFormulated In
Discipline (Patton-Al-Zayadi-2021)A discipline is characterized by (1) a non-empty set of core questions Q and (2) the delineating theory stating that Q are the core questions of the discipline.2021
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Accepted Theories

According to our records, no definition of the term has ever been accepted.

Suggested Modifications

Here is a list of modifications concerning this term:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2021-0006Scientonomy1 August 2021Accept new definitions of subquestion, core question, core theory, discipline, delineating theory, subdiscipline, and discipline acceptance.Open

Current Definition



There is currently no accepted view concerning the existence of disciplines.


No classes are currently accepted as being disjoint with this class.


No classes are currently accepted as subtypes of a discipline.


No classes are currently accepted as supertypes of a discipline.


No associations of a discipline are currently accepted.

If a question concerning the ontology of a discipline is missing, please add it here.


If a question concerning the dynamics of a discipline is missing, please add it here.

Related Topics

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