Accept that there are two types of epistemic agents – individual and communal. Also accept the question of applicability of the laws of scientific change to individuals as a legitimate topic of scientonomic inquiry.
In scientonomy, communities have been taken as the primary focus of interest for understanding the process of scientific change.2 Currently, they are the only entity taken to be capable of bearing a mosaic. The currently accepted definition of authority delegation3 takes it to be a relationship between communities. Yet, at the same time, Loiselle's own examples reveal that an individual can be the subject of authority delegation.4 There seem to be many other instances, such as within individual scientific research groups, where authority is delegated to an individual.1 Within the context of the new proposed definition of epistemic agent, there seems no good reason to reserve this status solely for communities. One may acknowledge that there are both communal and individual epistemic agents while at the same time recognizing that the two types of epistemic agents need not be similar in all respects. In particular, it is not yet clear whether the processes by which individuals acting independently chose their epistemic stances adhere to the same laws of scientific change.
Theories To Accept
- Individual Epistemic Agent Exists: There is such a thing as an individual epistemic agent.
- Individual Epistemic Agent Is a Subtype of Epistemic Agent (Patton-2019): Individual Epistemic Agent is a subtype of Epistemic Agent, i.e. epistemic agent is a supertype of individual epistemic agent.
Questions To Accept
- Applicability of the Laws of Scientific Change to Individuals: Do the scientonomic laws apply to individual epistemic agents?
This modification attempts to answer the following question(s):
- Subtypes of Epistemic Agent: What are the subtypes of an epistemic agent?
- Existence of Individual Epistemic Agent: Does an individual epistemic agent exist?
- Supertypes of Individual Epistemic Agent: What are the supertypes of an individual epistemic agent?
The modification was accepted on 10 January 2022. It was agreed during seminar discussions that the "modification aims to codify our de facto communal stance towards the ontology of epistemic agents".c1 This is confirmed by the fact that several recent articles take this ontology of epistemic agents for granted (e.g., Barseghyan and Levesley (2021), Machado-Marques and Patton (2021)).56 Even as early as 2017, several of Loiselle's examples of authority delegation concern individual experts (see Loiselle (2017)).4
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- Patton, Paul. (2019) Epistemic Tools and Epistemic Agents in Scientonomy. Scientonomy 3, 63-89. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/33621.
- Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.
- Overgaard, Nicholas and Loiselle, Mirka. (2016) Authority Delegation. Scientonomy 1, 11-18. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/27065.
- Loiselle, Mirka. (2017) Multiple Authority Delegation in Art Authentication. Scientonomy 1, 41-53. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/28233.
- Barseghyan, Hakob and Levesley, Nichole. (2021) Question Dynamics. Scientonomy 4, 1-19. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/37120.
- Machado-Marques, Sarah and Patton, Paul. (2021) Scientific Error and Error Handling. Scientonomy 4, 21-39. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/37121.