Epistemic Elements - Theories and Methods (Barseghyan-2015)

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An attempt to answer the question of Epistemic Elements which states "The two classes of elements that can undergo scientific change are accepted theories (as a set of propositions that attempts to describe something) and employed methods (as a set of criteria for theory evaluation)."

This version of Epistemic Elements - Theories and Methods was formulated by Hakob Barseghyan in 2015.1


Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of Epistemic Elements - Theories and Methods (Barseghyan-2015):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy1 January 2016This formulation was tacitly accepted together with the rest of the original TSC. It was made explicit on January 16, 2017 when Nicholas Overgaard suggested that the question of ontology of a certain field shouldn't be answered via definitions alone. See Modification_talk:Sciento-2016-0002 for details.No15 February 2017The ontology became rejected when it was replaced by Epistemic Elements - Theories and Methods (Sebastien-2017).

Suggestions To Reject

These are all the modifications where the rejection of the theory has been suggested:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2017-0002Scientonomy23 January 2017Accept a new ontology of scientific change where the two fundamental elements are theories - both descriptive and normative - and methods.AcceptedThe community has agreed that after the solution of the paradox of normative propositions, there are no obstacles for including normative propositions into the ontology of scientific change.c1 c2 c3 It was also agreed that including normative propositions into the ontology of scientific change "would allow us to grasp the role that methodological and ethical rules play in science".c415 February 2017

Question Answered

Epistemic Elements - Theories and Methods (Barseghyan-2015) is an attempt to answer the following question: What are the fundamental epistemic elements that undergo scientific change?

See Epistemic Elements for more details.


According to Barseghyan, "at any moment of time, there are certain theories and certain methods employed in theory assessment".1p.5 Thus, theories and methods are the two types of elements that undergo scientific change; as such, they constitute the ontology of scientific change. Importantly, in this ontology, the class of theories only includes descriptive propositions; normative propositions (such as those of ethics or methodology) are left out of the ontology.


No reasons are indicated for this theory.


  1. a b  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.