What is employed method? How should it be defined?
Employed method is one of the key concepts in current scientonomy. Thus, its proper definition is of great importance.
In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Hakob Barseghyan in 2015. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. Employed Method (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017) is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available definition of the term. Employed Method (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017) states "A method is said to be employed if its requirements constitute the actual expectations of the community."
According to the original scientonomic definition of the term, suggested in 2015 and accepted in 2016, a method was said to be employed by a community if the community only accepted those theories whose acceptance was permitted by the method.1 Thus, originally method employment was defined in terms of the indicators of method employment. This definition conflated the fact of method employment with scientonomic means of detecting method employment.
In 2017, Paul Patton, Nicholas Overgaard, and Hakob Barseghyan argued that this is unacceptable, for in principle employed methods can be detected in many different ways, e.g. by analyzing the record of transitions from one accepted theory to the next in a particular community at a particular time or, alternatively, by using the third law and inferring the employed method from the theories accepted by the community at that time.
Consequently, a new definition of the term was suggested to distinguish the phenomenon of method employment from the ways and means of detecting it.2 By this definition, employed method is nothing but the actual expectations of a certain community at a certain time. This new definition is in tune with the usage of the term throughout Barseghyan's The Laws of Scientific Change. For instance, he claims that the community of Aristotelian-Medieval natural philosophers employed the method of intuition schooled by experience in the sense that they expected new theories to be intuitively true.1 2 Similarly, the double-blind trial method is currently employed in drug testing, in the sense that "the community expects new drugs to be tested in double-blind trials".2 1
|Community||Accepted From||Acceptance Indicators||Still Accepted||Accepted Until||Rejection Indicators|
|Scientonomy||1 January 2016||This is when the first scientonomic definition of the term, Employed Method (Barseghyan-2015), became accepted, which is an indication that the topic itself is legitimate.||Yes|
|Employed Method (Barseghyan-2015)||A method is said to be employed at time t if, at time t, theories become accepted only when their acceptance is permitted by the method.||2015|
|Employed Method (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||A method is said to be employed if its requirements constitute the actual expectations of the community.||2017|
|Community||Theory||Accepted From||Accepted Until|
|Scientonomy||Employed Method (Barseghyan-2015)||1 January 2016||28 November 2017|
|Scientonomy||Employed Method (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||29 November 2017|
|Modification||Community||Date Suggested||Summary||Verdict||Verdict Rationale||Date Assessed|
|Sciento-2017-0004||Scientonomy||5 February 2017||Accept the reformulation of the second law which explicitly links theory assessment outcomes with theory acceptance/unacceptance. To that end, accept three new definitions for theory assessment outcomes (satisfied, not satisfied, and inconclusive) as well as the new ontology of theory assessment outcomes, and accept the new definition of employed method.||Accepted||The new formulation of the law became accepted as a result of a communal consensus. It was noted by the commentators that the "modification provides a much improved formulation of the 2nd law".c1 It was noted that the new formulation "decouples the method from acceptance outcomes" and "is needed to avoid a contradiction for cases where assessment by the method is inconclusive, but the theory is accepted".c2 It was agreed that the new law eliminates two of the major flaws of the previous formulation. First, it clearly states the relations between different assessment outcomes and the actual theory acceptance/unacceptance. Second, it clearly forbids certain conceivable courses of events and, thus, doesn't sounds like a tautology.c3||29 November 2017|
In Scientonomy community, the accepted definition of the term is Employed Method (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017). It is defined as: "A method is said to be employed if its requirements constitute the actual expectations of the community."
According to this definition of the term, employed method is nothing but the actual expectations of a certain community at a certain time. This is in tune with the actual scientonomic usage of the term. It is safe to say that this definition is tacitly used throughout Barseghyan's The Laws of Scientific Change. For instance, when he says that the method of intuition schooled by experience was employed by the community of Aristotelian-Medieval natural philosophers, he actually means that this community expected new theories to be intuitively true.pp. 143-145p. 35 When he says that the double-blind trial method is currently employed in drug testing, he means that "the community expects new drugs to be tested in double-blind trials".p. 35pp. 134-142 Originally, this tacit definition of emp… Read More
This topic is also related to the following topic(s):
- Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.
- Patton, Paul; Overgaard, Nicholas and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2017) Reformulating the Second Law. Scientonomy 1, 29-39. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/27158.