Accept the law of theory demarcation as a new scientonomic axiom. Also accept questions concerning indicators of scientificity as legitimate topics of scientonomic inquiry.
The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Patrick Fraser and Ameer Sarwar on 28 December 2018.1 This modification presupposes the acceptance of Sciento-2018-0013. The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.
Since the stance of scientificity can be taken towards theories, it is important for theoretical scientonomy to explain how this stances changes through time. The law of theory demarcation that we suggest here is meant to provide such an explanation. The law states that the scientificity of a theory depends crucially on the employed criteria of demarcation. In particular, if a theory conclusively satisfies the demarcation criteria of the method employed at the time, it becomes scientific; if it conclusively fails to satisfy the demarcation criteria, it remains unscientific, and if assessment is inconclusive, the theory’s status can become scientific, unscientific, or uncertain. Given that conclusive satisfaction of the demarcation criteria precludes unscientific and uncertain status and conclusive failure to satisfy it preclude scientific and unscientific status of the theory, the law of theory demarcation is non-tautological.
Theories To Accept
- The Law of Theory Demarcation (Sarwar-Fraser-2018): If a theory satisfies the demarcation criteria of the method employed at the time, it becomes scientific; if it does not, it remains unscientific; if assessment is inconclusive, the theory’s status can become scientific, unscientific, or uncertain.
- The Law of Theory Demarcation (Sarwar-Fraser-2018) is Not Tautological (Sarwar-Fraser-2018): The law of theory demarcation as formulated by Sarwar and Fraser in 2018 is not tautological.
Questions To Accept
- Indicators of Theory Scientificity: What are the historical indicators of a theory’s scientificity? How can observational scientonomists establish that such-and-such a theory was indeed considered scientific/unscientific by a certain epistemic agent at a certain time?
- Indicators of Conclusiveness for Scientificity Assessment: 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?
This modification attempts to answer the following question(s):
- Mechanism of Theory Demarcation: How do theories become scientific or unscientific?
- Tautological Status of The Law of Theory Demarcation (Sarwar-Fraser-2018): Is the law of theory demarcation as formulated by Sarwar and Fraser in 2018 a tautology?
The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending. The modification can only become accepted once modification Sciento-2018-0013 becomes accepted.
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- Sarwar, Ameer and Fraser, Patrick. (2018) Scientificity and The Law of Theory Demarcation. Scientonomy 2, 55-66. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31275.