Modification talk:Sciento-2018-0014

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Provide your comments regarding the suggested modification here. At minimum you need to indicate whether you think the modification is acceptable, why "yes" or why "no". The key question here is not whether the modification is flawless - no modification ever is. The key question is whether the modification, if accepted, will provide an overall improvement to our communal knowledge.

Please follow the instructions in the guidelines for readers.


Hakob Barseghyan

27 months ago
Score 0

Since I don't believe we have sufficient evidence for accepting that scientificity is a universal stance, I am not sure we need a law to explain how that stance obtains. So my position is that we should not accept this modification.

That being said, Sarwar and Fraser's work may be taken as pointing to the existence of a special mechanism for the emergence of local stances as well as the dynamics of changes in them. It raises two questions:

1. How do local stances emerge?

2. What is the mechanism of changes in such local stances?

It may be the case that each local stance will require its own type of criteria (e.g. demarcation criteria and scientificity, heresy criteria and heresy, etc.). There might even be a more universal law that explains changes in any stance as a result of satisfying the corresponding criteria. This, in my opinion, is a topic that deserves a systematic research.

Ameer Sarwar

23 months ago
Score 0
I agree that until the discussion about the law of demarcation needs to be postponed until we have a consensus on what needs to be done with modification 2018-0013. If the modification is not accepted, then this law would also remain unaccepted. If the modification is accepted, then the question about whether this law is acceptable can be asked. In the meantime, then, my position is to withold judgment.

Tessa Ng

8 months ago
Score 0

The suggested modification, while interesting and potentially useful, seems to me too implausible to successfully implement due to the equivocality of the term “scientificity” throughout the history of science. It goes without saying that what qualifies as “scientific” has seldom been easily construed from culture to culture and era to era, hence the need for demarcation. However, although demarcation plays an integral role in scientonomy by distinguishing activities relevant to our practice, it is not plausible to devise an accurate criteria of demarcation for every agent, era, and episode in the history of science without falling into traps, such as anachronism, lack of contextual sensitivity, and a simple lack of data on the beliefs of the time.

The nature of laws, in and outside scientonomy, is that they are theories that hold at all times and in all contexts. Devising a scientonomic law of theory demarcation that is general enough to apply to a story as temporally broad and socioculturally diverse as that of scientific change, yet specific enough to make meaningful qualifications will prove a serious challenge to the community. Scientificity, as a concept, is deeply complex. I agree that the proposed questions that seek to identify the indicators of scientificity historically must be accepted and sought to be answered. However, I would propose that the questions and their answers ought to precede the acceptance of the law of theory demarcation, in that it is not immediately evident whether there exist clean and workable answers to the question of what indicates scientificity.

In sum, I find this suggested modification mildly over-ambitious, in that construing a distinct and applicable criteria of “scientificity” that is sensitive to every sociocultural details of history is not evidently plausible. Hence, my verdict is that the scientonomic community should either reject or postpone approving the suggested modification, but to accept the proposed questions the inquire after the indicators of scientificity.

Joshua Allen

8 months ago
Score 0
Sarwar and Fraser seem to be here attempting to bring the accepted epistemic stances further into alignment with the accepted components of employed methods - demarcation criteria, in particular - by formulating a scientonomic law to explain how demarcation criteria function within a mosaic. I agree that this is a worthwhile exercise. They argue that such a task requires a new epistemic stance, which they call 'scientificity'. Since, however, the discussion over whether or not to accept scientificity is far from over, it seems premature to be accepting this modification. Scientificity is the more foundational idea, and therefore, my view is that the acceptance of the Law of Theory Demarcation should be contingent upon the prior acceptance of scientificity (as proposed in Modification:Sciento-2018-0013).

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