Commenting on this modification is closed; the modification is accepted.
Enable comment auto-refresher
The historical cases discussed by Patton and Machado-Marques show convincingly that instances of scientific error handling are in full accord with the theory rejection theorem, currently accepted in scientonomy. Specifically, they show that the rejection of an erroneously accepted theory is a result of the acceptance of other theories incompatible with it - be these some first- or second-order theories. I fully agree with their treatment of scientific error.
I agree that the handling of scientific error, as defined by Machado-Marques and Patton, is compatible with the theory rejection theorem.
The theory rejection theorem states that a theory becomes rejected when another incompatible theory is accepted. A theory can be replaced by a first-order incompatible theory. A theory can also be replaced by a second-order proposition accounting for the lack of evidence for the previously accepted first-order proposition.
Scientific error, as defined by Machado-Marques and Patton, refers to instances where an epistemic agent accepts a theory that should not have been accepted given that agent’s employed method. Acknowledgment of a scientific error might involve the replacement of the erroneous theory -- contradicting the epistemic agent’s employed method -- by a first-order proposition outlining a theory incompatible with the erroneous one, yet acceptable given the epistemic agent’s employed method. Alternatively, acknowledgement of a scientific error might result in the replacement of the erroneous theory with a second-order proposition accounting for the lack of evidence for the erroneously accepted theory.
So long as the treatment of scientific error ensures the replacement of the erroneous theory by something (notably a first or second-order proposition), then the proposed definition of scientific error will remain compatible with the theory rejection theorem.
Machado-Marques and Patton convincingly argue that a scientonomic explanation of scientific error and its handling need not run afoul of the theory rejection theorem, the possibility of which was concernedly put forth in an open question by Mirkin and Karamehmetoglu in 2018.
The authors, to much success, apply their definition of error to work through four historical episodes and show how each of the rejected propositions is often replaced by another first-order proposition, usually a direct negation of the erroneous one. In other cases, especially when it comes to propositions representing the erroneous conclusions of arguments, Machado-Marques and Patton use Palider’s (2019) work on reasons in scientonomy to show how second-order propositions - about whether or not there exists sufficient reason for accepting a proposition - are often what the conclusions are replaced by. In doing so, the authors are able to put to rest concerns about the handling of scientific error potentially contravening the theory rejection theorem.
The fact that scientonomy does not yet have an accepted answer to the aforementioned open question gives all the more reason to accept this modification.
You are not allowed to post comments.