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Accept the new definition of epistemic agent as an agent capable of taking epistemic stances towards epistemic elements.

The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Paul Patton on 26 December 2019.1 The modification was accepted on 11 October 2020.


The concept of an epistemic agent was made reference to by Barseghyan,2 but currently lacks a scientonomic definition. According to Barseghyan, communities are capable of "bearing a scientific mosaic".3pp. 43-52 Yet, there are many uncertainties about what "bearing a mosaic" actually means. For example, must a bearer of a mosaic be familiar, in full detail, with every theory, question, and method in the mosaic? Given such uncertainties it is not clear that "mosaic bearing" is actually the best way to characterize epistemic agency. In addition, the issue of whether individuals can be epistemic agents, or whether tools and instruments can be requires clarification. For all these reasons, a clear definition of epistemic agent is needed.


Theories To Accept

Epistemic Agent (Patton-2019).png

Questions Answered

This modification attempts to answer the following question(s):


The modification was accepted on 11 October 2020. The modification was characterized as "a very welcome addition to the scientonomic ontology" for despite all the talks of epistemic agents "the very notion of epistemic agency has remained unclear" for years,c1 for its "strict explication has been lacking".c2 It was agreed that the definition is an important starting point for our discussions concerning individual and communal agents.c3 c4 It was also noted that the definition is important for addressing the "the question of agency of epistemic tools"c5 and the question of "the applicability of scientonomic laws to individual agents".c6

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  1. ^  Patton, Paul. (2019) Epistemic Tools and Epistemic Agents in Scientonomy. Scientonomy 3, 63-89. Retrieved from
  2. ^  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2018) Redrafting the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 13-38. Retrieved from
  3. ^  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.