Modification:Sciento-2017-0003

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Accept that licenses to teach [ʾijāzāt] are reliable indicators of which texts were considered authoritative in the Medieval Arabic scientific mosaic (MASM) in c. 750-1258 CE in the Abbasid caliphate. Thus, a proposition can be said to be accepted in MASM if the evidence of the licenses to teach [ʾijāzāt] indicates so.

The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Michael Fatigati on 27 January 2017.1 The modification was accepted on 16 October 2021.

Preamble

There are good reasons to think that there was a body of truths generally accepted by the Medieval Arabic scientific community under Abbasid rule during the middle ages. However, the usual indicators initially established by the scientonomy community to guide us in reconstructing past mosaics (such as encyclopedias or university curricula) are not applicable in the case of the medieval Arabic scientific mosaic. Thus, by attending to the particular way that knowledge was disseminated in this community, we must locate what can serve as an indicator of theory acceptance for this particular mosaic.

Modification

Accept the following propositions concerning MASM in c. 750-1258 CE in the Abbasid caliphate:

Indicators of theory acceptance in MASM explained by Gregory Rupik
  • Authoritative texts are indicative of theories accepted in MASM.
  • Licenses to teach [ʾijāzāt] are reliable indicators of which texts were considered authoritative in MASM.

Accept that the following method ought to be employed when reconstructing the theories accepted in MASM:

  • Teaching License Method: A proposition can be said to be accepted in MASM if the evidence of the licenses to teach [ʾijāzāt] indicates so.

Verdict

The modification was accepted on 16 October 2021. Commentators agreed that Fatigati provided "a compelling case for the power of ‘authoritative texts’ to serve as indicators of accepted theories in MASM"c1 and that "it is perfectly reasonable to rely on authoritative texts to determine what was a part of the MASM".c2 It was also noted that we must "take the idea of the MASM as a monolithic community with a grain of salt",c3 which is in tune with Fatigati's own position. Fatigati's modification was also praised "as an exemplar for future work in observational scientonomy" especially as due to its potential to spur "further interest in studies of scientific mosaics outside of the immediate Western tradition".c4 It was noted that this "type of research will need to be carried out on a very large scale if observational scientonomy is to achieve its lofty goals". Specifically, research focusing on various "small communities" could potentially "bring some observational evidence into the discussion of Necessary Elements" and "might prove of interest for future scientonomists interested in exploring the Role of Sociocultural Factors in Scientific Change".c5

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References

  1. ^  Fatigati, Michael. (2017) A Method for Reconstructing the Medieval Arabic Scientific Mosaic. Scientonomy 1, 19-28. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/27761.