Epistemic Agent (Patton-2019)

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This is a definition of Epistemic Agent that states "An agent capable of taking epistemic stances towards epistemic elements."

Epistemic Agent (Patton-2019).png

This definition of Epistemic Agent was formulated by Paul Patton in 2019.1 It is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available definition of the term.

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this definition:
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy11 October 2020The definition became accepted as a result of the acceptance of the respective suggested modification.Yes

Suggestions To Accept

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

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Date Assessed Verdict Verdict Rationale
Sciento-2019-0014 Scientonomy 26 December 2019 Accept the new definition of epistemic agent as an agent capable of taking epistemic stances towards epistemic elements. 11 October 2020 Accepted The modification was characterized as "a very welcome addition to the scientonomic ontology" for despite all the talks of epistemic agents "the very notion of epistemic agency has remained unclear" for years,c1 for its "strict explication has been lacking".c2 It was agreed that the definition is an important starting point for our discussions concerning individual and communal agents.c3 c4 It was also noted that the definition is important for addressing the "the question of agency of epistemic tools"c5 and the question of "the applicability of scientonomic laws to individual agents".c6

Question Answered

Epistemic Agent (Patton-2019) is an attempt to answer the following question: What is epistemic agent? How should it be defined?

See Epistemic Agent for more details.


An epistemic agent acts in relation to epistemic elements such as theories, questions, and methods. The actions of an epistemic agent amount to taking epistemic stances towards these elements, such as accepting or pursuing a theory, accepting a question, or employing a method. The stances of an epistemic agent must be intentional. To be so, they must satisfy the following conditions:

  1. the agent must have a semantic understanding of the propositions that constitute the epistemic element in question and of its available alternatives; and
  2. the agent must be able to choose from among the available alternatives with reason, and for the purpose of acquiring knowledge.1


No reasons are indicated for this definition.

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Questions About This Definition

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  1. a b  Patton, Paul. (2019) Epistemic Tools and Epistemic Agents in Scientonomy. Scientonomy 3, 63-89. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33621.