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Accept that epistemic stances of all types can be taken explicitly and/or implicitly and that epistemic elements of all types can be explicit and/or implicit.

The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan on 8 October 2018.1 The modification was accepted on 1 September 2019.


In section Explicit and Implicit of The Laws of Scientific Change, a distinction is drawn between methods and methodologies, where methods are understood as the actual – often tacit/implicit – expectations of a certain agent, while methodologies are always openly/explicitly stated by a certain epistemic agent as the right way of theory evaluation.2pp. 53-54 The analysis reveals that this characterization of methodologies as explicitly stated rules and methods as often implicitly employed rules is misleading. First, whether a rule has or hasn’t been explicitly stated has to do with contingent historical circumstances and says nothing about its propositional content. Thus, the propositional content of the rule “astronomical data is acceptable only if it has been obtained by a healthy human eye” stays exactly the same regardless of whether, when, and by which epistemic agents it has or hasn’t been explicitly stated. Second, it is clear that all propositions can be both explicit and implicit; that’s not what characterizes them. Descriptive or normative, theory or method – every epistemic element has the capacity of being explicitly stated as well as the capacity of being tacitly implied. The same holds for epistemic stances. For example, a theory or a method can be accepted both openly and tacitly. Similarly, normative propositions can be employed both implicitly and explicitly. This confirms that the distinction between explicit and implicit cannot be taken as grounds for differentiating distinct epistemic elements or distinct epistemic stances.


Accept that:

  • Epistemic stances of all types can be taken explicitly and/or implicitly.
  • Epistemic elements of all types can be explicit and/or implicit.

Questions To Accept


The modification was accepted on 1 September 2019. The consensus concerning this modification emerged primarily off-line.c1 It was agreed that this modification is to be accepted, as it "opens the way for any epistemic stance or element to be either implicit or explicit, with the arbiter for any given case being empirical evidence".c2

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  1. ^  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2018) Redrafting the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 13-38. Retrieved from
  2. ^  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.