Modification talk:Sciento-2016-0001

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Commenting on this modification is closed; the modification is accepted.

Hakob Barseghyan

32 months ago
Score 1

The new formulation of the second law proposed by Sebastien clarifies a very important point, i.e. that an employed method shouldn't necessarily follow from all accepted theories of the time. This solves the paradox of normative propositions; now an employed method and an accepted methodology that are mutually inconsistent can still be part of the same mosaic without violating the third law.

Verdict: accept.

Nicholas Overgaard

31 months ago
Score 1

I don't think the modification to the third law is necessary to solve the paradox of normative propositions. It seemed like we had always understood the third law as saying that methods change not in relation to all employed methods, but only in relation to some of them - even if we never said so explicitly. Moreover, the current formulation of the third law may not explicitly state that only "some" methods are relevant to a given change in methods, but it also does not state that newly employed methods are deducible from "all" methods in a given mosaic. This means, technically speaking, that the current formulation of the third law (i.e. Barseghyan 2015) is sufficient to resolve the paradox of normative propositions.

That said, the new formulation of the third law does bring an additional level of precision to our understanding of the mechanism of method change. On those grounds, I think we should accept this modification.

Zoe Sebastien

29 months ago
Score 1

Hakob clearly articulates why it is so important to note that an employed method need not follow from all the accepted theories of the time and I agree with him that a modification that articulates this point should be accepted.

Nicholas is right to point out that if we carefully consider the current formulation of the third law, we will likely come to the realization that our understanding of this formulation is based on our tacit assumption that we do not mean "all" methods, but only "some". Leaving this assumption tacit, however, was partly what led us to see a paradox and so I agree with Nicholas that if we can increase the precision with which we articulate the laws of scientific change we should do so.

Gregory Rupik

29 months ago
Score 0

This formulation of the third law makes a clarification that, on its own, warrants this modification's acceptance. (Verdict: accept.)

I do have an alternative proposal for how this modified version of the law is formulated, however. The suggestion is merely aesthetic, and does not affect the substance of the modification or the third law (to my knowledge):

A method becomes employed only when it is deducible from some subset of other elements of the mosaic of the time.

As it stands, since the only elements of a mosaic are theories and methods (and, as part of a mosaic, are already accepted/employed, respectively), this simply makes the law less unwieldy. This being said, I understand if we'd like to keep "accepted theories and employed methods" a) for the purpose of being more clear, or b) if we purposefully mean to exclude the possibility of the method being a deducible consequence of any other as-yet-unidentified element that might make up a scientific mosaic.

Hakob Barseghyan

29 months ago
Score 0

Concerning Greg's suggested "aesthetic" adjustment, I think we need to stick to explicitly mentioning methods and theories since "other elements of the mosaic of the time" may mean three different things:

  1. accepted theories only;
  2. other employed methods only;
  3. accepted theories and employed methods".

Clearly, this is not equivalent to saying that a method becomes employed only when it is a deductive consequence of some accepted theories and employed methods. Our current understanding of the mechanism of method employment stems from the idea that only the third scenario is the case - method employment requires at least one accepted theory and one employed method. In other words, "other elements of the mosaic" is not restrictive enough.

While I agree with Greg that there might be a more aesthetically pleasing formulation, I suggest we stick to Zoe's formulation for now.

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