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I believe this modification is a sound an impressive addition to the current scientonomic research and literature on authority delegation, and that delving into and fleshing out the various kinds of authority delegation, and what kind of delegation occurs in which context, is crucial to understanding the ways in which communities interact with each other. I am, personally, and especially, impressed by the case studies on hierarchical authority delegation, as it shows humans' inclination to rank resources based on efficiency, work output and influence. I would like to see more cases of non-hierarchical authority delegation, but this can be a task performed in future papers.
While the concept of singular and multiple authority delegation seem useful additions to the authority delegation concept, the ideas of hierarchical and non-hierarchical authority delegation do not, because they posit as general categories structures of authority delegation that are best determined empirically on a case by case basis.
I have no doubt that if one looks hard, one can find examples of an instance where a community has formulated a prearranged hierarchy of authority delegation. This is especially the case for decisions that are rote and routine, such as determining the interpretation to be given to a medical test in a particular instance. However, for decisions that are not rote and routine, it seems highly unlikely that a pre-established hierarchy of authority delegation does or could exist, nor could a pre-established belief that all authorities should be given equal weight. Instead the community may decide among conflicting claims by recognized authorities on a case by case basis, taking into account the specifics of the claim, and its relationship to the community's own theories and methods. All of this is likely to differ from community to community and within communities depending on the nature of the issue being decided. The state of affairs can only be established, for any particular case, by observational scientonomic research. That being the case, I see no reason to create the categories of hierarchical and non-hierarchical delegation in the abstract, outside the context of the explication of particular cases, each one of which is likely to be a bit different.
Instead, observational scientonomists should seek the authority delegation theory accepted by a particular community by using the same markers of theory acceptance used elsewhere. In particular cases, this theory may indeed include a well established hierarchy of authorities for some sorts of issues, especially ones that recur frequently and routinely. But I see no reasons to create the hierarchical and non-hierarchical delegation categories as part of the general theory.
While I agree with Paul Patton that it is a matter of observational scientonomy to locate cases of hierarchical authority delegation, I think the concept should be accepted as Mirka Loiselle pointed out the case of hierarchical authority delegation in the art world. As aspects of the art community are epistemic (including those aspects Loiselle describes), it seems that we have identified at least one aspect of hierarchical authority delegation in epistemic communities.
I will try here to sum up the outcome of the numerous offline discussions we've had on this modification in the last year and a half.
1. Concerning the notions of singular and multiple authority delegations: there haven't been any objections and all those who commented believe that these are important additions to theoretical scientonomy.
2. Out discussions mostly revolved around the notions of hierarchical and non-hierarchical authority delegation. Paul's point against the existence of pre-established hierarchy of authority delegation has been discussed on numerous occasions. There seems to be no objection to Paul's point that "structures of authority delegation that are best determined empirically on a case by case basis". We seem to agree that the real-life situations might be much more complex than an idealized case of an agent having a hierarchical list of experts whose expertise they rely on in that very order. However, it has also been agreed that there seem to be instances where some experts occupy privileged positions in the eyes of those delegating authority. This alone is sufficient to suggest that hierarchies of authority delegation exists, regardless of of how transient or fixed they might be.
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