Indicators of Conclusiveness for Scientificity Assessment

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What are the historical indicators that an assessment by the demarcation criteria was conclusive or inconclusive? Does the lack of agreement or evidence count in favor of inconclusive assessment outcome?

Historical indicators can be used as evidence to assess whether certain epistemic stances were taken by epistemic agents towards epistemic elements. Sarwar and Fraser present scientificity, a new epistemic stance that may be taken toward theories, and as such, in order to understand whether theories were considered as scientific or unscientific by a particular community, one must understand what the indicators of different assessment outcomes of scientificity are.1 In particular, it is unclear when assessment of the demarcation criteria may be inconclusive.

Noting the difficulty of finding historical indicators for assessments of the demarcation criteria, Sarwar and Fraser state that "scientists may presumably keep track of only those theories that are accepted ... Thus, there is a legitimate question concerning the indicators of scientificity. Once this question is reasonably answered, one may also try to locate historical indicators that could tell us whether an assessment for scientificity was conclusive or inconclusive. It is conceivable that we may find solid indicators of conclusive assessments, while having trouble locating indicators of inconclusive assessments". 1p. 62 It is further postulated that if there is lack of evidence about the scientific status of a theory, this may itself indicate an inconclusive assessment outcome.

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar in 2018.


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  1. a b  Sarwar, Ameer and Fraser, Patrick. (2018) Scientificity and The Law of Theory Demarcation. Scientonomy 2, 55-66. Retrieved from