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Accept the law of question acceptance as a new scientonomic axiom, the question rejection theorem, and a number of questions for future research.

The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Hakob Barseghyan and Nichole Levesley on 1 August 2021.1 The modification was accepted on 21 February 2024.


The question of how questions come to be accepted by epistemic agents was first raised by Rawleigh in 2018. With questions accepted as one of the fundamental elements of the scientonomic ontology, it is necessary to provide an account of how questions are accepted and rejected by agents. This modification suggests that questions become accepted when all of their epistemic presuppositions are accepted and the question is taken to be answerable in principle. It also provides a question rejection theorem that is derived from the first law for questions and the compatibility corollary, and points to several questions for further research.


Theories To Accept

The Law of Question Acceptance (Barseghyan-Levesley-2021).png

Question Rejection theorem (Barseghyan-Levesley-2021).png

Questions To Accept

Questions Answered

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


The modification was accepted on 21 February 2024. Prior to the 2024 workshop, Carlin Henikoff left a comment on the encyclopedia affirming that the modification should be accepted, but also stating that it was unclear whether it should be accepted as an axiom, per se. During the 2024 workshop, it was clarified that in our taxonomy, if X follows from something else, it is a theorem, but if not, it is an axiom. At the time of the publication of Levesley and Barseghyan’s paper, Henikoff was engaged in conversations in the scientonomy community about whether the law of question acceptance could be deducible from other scientonomic theorems. This clarified the thrust of her comment; since the law hasn't been shown to follow from any other scientonomic theories, it can only be taken as an axiom. There were also concerns about the phrasing of the law. Specifically, Jamie Shaw highlighted that the acceptance of a question cannot be predicated upon the acceptance of all of its presuppositions, simply because a question can have an infinite number of presuppositions. However, the participants were reminded of the difference between epistemic presuppositions and logical presuppositions (proposed by Levesley and Barseghyan in the previously accepted modification Sciento-2021-0001). While a question can have an infinite number of logical presuppositions (i.e. these are “explosive”), the law explicitly talks about epistemic presuppositions, which are not explosive. The modification was accepted nearly unanimously by over two-thirds majority of votes. 17 out of 18 votes were for acceptance.

Sciento-2021-0002 Voting Results.png

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  1. ^  Barseghyan, Hakob and Levesley, Nichole. (2021) Question Dynamics. Scientonomy 4, 1-19. Retrieved from