Epistemic Stances Towards Questions - Question Acceptance (Rawleigh-2018)

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This is an answer to the question Epistemic Stances Towards Questions that states "The stance of question acceptance can be taken towards a question."

Epistemic Stances Towards Questions - Question Acceptance was formulated by William Rawleigh in 2018.1 It is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available answer to the question.

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this theory:
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy1 November 2018The theory 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 theory has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2018-0003 Scientonomy 12 May 2018 Accept that the epistemic stance that can be taken by an epistemic agent towards a question is question acceptance (the opposite is unacceptance), where question acceptance is defined as "a question is said to be accepted if it is taken as a legitimate topic of inquiry". Accepted It was noted that "the whole point of adding questions to the ontology of epistemic elements was that we can legitimately speak of a question being accepted by a certain agent at a certain time".c1 The discussion also revealed a need to distinguish "a situation where no consensus exists from a situation where a consensus exists that a question is illegitimate".c2 In other words, "just as question acceptance, theory acceptance too seems to allow for three values: (clearly) accepted; (clearly) unaccepted; no consensus".c3 Thus, a new question was suggested concerning the binary character of epistemic stances: "are all epistemic stances binary, or do they allow for more than two values?"c4 1 November 2018

Question Answered

Epistemic Stances Towards Questions - Question Acceptance (Rawleigh-2018) is an attempt to theory the following question: What types of epistemic stances can be taken by epistemic agents towards questions?

See Epistemic Stances Towards Questions for more details.


Rawleigh argued that, just like theories, questions too can be accepted or unaccepted. A question can be accepted by an agent at one period at not accepted by another.

The gist of this theory can be illustrated by the following examples.

Distance to the Sphere of the Stars

Consider, for instance, the question "what is the distance to the sphere of the stars?" which was once accepted as a legitimate topic of inquiry, but is no longer accepted. Similarly, the question "what is the mechanism of evolution of species?" is accepted nowadays, but wasn't accepted in the 17th century. Thus, we can say that questions acceptance is the stance that epistemic agents take towards questions.


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Questions About This Theory

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  1. ^  Rawleigh, William. (2018) The Status of Questions in the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 1-12. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/29651.