One-sided Authority Delegation (Overgaard-Loiselle-2016)

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This is a definition of One-sided Authority Delegation that states "Communities A and B are said to be in a relationship of one-sided authority delegation iff community A delegates authority over topic x to community B, but community B doesn’t delegate any authority to community A."

This definition of One-sided Authority Delegation was formulated by Nicholas Overgaard and Mirka Loiselle in 2016.1

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this definition:
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy2 February 2018The definition became accepted as a result of the acceptance of the respective suggested modification.No6 February 2023The definition became rejected as a result of the acceptance of the respective modification.

Suggestions To Accept

Here are all the modifications where the acceptance of this definition has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2016-0004 Scientonomy 7 September 2016 Provided that the notion of authority delegation is accepted, accept the notions of mutual authority delegation and one-sided authority delegation as subtypes of authority delegation. Accepted Following a period of discussion, it was finally agreed that "the current definitions of authority delegation, mutual authority delegation, and one-sided authority delegation, despite their problems, are currently the best available such definitions".c1 It was noted that these definitions don't take into the account the possibility of conditional authority delegation, where community A is prepared to accept the findings of another community on a certain topic only if these findings also satisfy some additional criteria imposed by community A. It was argued that there might be cases where a community's reliance on the findings of another community might be "conditional in ways that the current authority delegation definition is too restrictive to encompass".c2 The idea of conditional delegation was found pursuit-worhty.c3 It was also stressed that these definitions are only the first step towards a deeper understanding of the mechanism of authority delegation. Scientonomists were advised to pursue the idea of deducing "theorems concerning theory acceptance and method employment in delegating mosaics".c4 2 February 2018

Suggestions To Reject

These are all the modifications where the rejection of this definition has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2019-0017 Scientonomy 26 December 2019 Accept the definitions of authority delegation, and its subtypes, that generalize the currently accepted definitions to apply to all epistemic agents, rather than only communities. Accepted The commentators found the modification uncontroversial.c1 c2 It was noted that the modification "merely attempts to capture what is already de facto accepted - namely, the idea that authority can be delegated by and to epistemic agents of all kinds (both communal and individual)" as indicated by the "fact that the canonical examples of authority delegation often involve individual experts (see, for example, Loiselle 2017)".c3 It was agreed that the modification "introduces a necessary rewording in the definitions of authority delegation and its species".c4 6 February 2023

Question Answered

One-sided Authority Delegation (Overgaard-Loiselle-2016) is an attempt to answer the following question: What is one-sided authority delegation? How should it be defined?

See One-sided Authority Delegation for more details.


One-sided authority delegation is a sub-type of authority delegation. It describes a situation where one community delegates authority over some topic to another community, but the other community does not delegate any authority back.

A good example of one-sided authority delegation is the relationship between contemporary philosophers and physicists. Philosophers themselves are not physicists (though, they certainly can be), meaning they must rely on the theories accepted by physicists to conduct research about, say, the quantum entities that populate the world. As soon as a physicist accepts a new particle (e.g. the Higgs boson), philosophers too will accept the existence of that particle. However, if philosophers for some reason begin to debate the ontological status of that new particle, physicists are unlikely to pay any attention to the philosophers. So, at least in principle, it is possible for one community to delegation authority to another, but for the other to delegate no authority to the first community.


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  1. ^  Overgaard, Nicholas and Loiselle, Mirka. (2016) Authority Delegation. Scientonomy 1, 11-18. Retrieved from