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What is question? How should it be defined?

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by William Rawleigh in 2018. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. Question (Rawleigh-2018) is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available definition of the term. It is defined as: "A topic of inquiry."

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this term (it includes all the instances when the term was accepted as a part of a community's taxonomy):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy12 May 2018This is when Rawleigh's The Status of Questions in the Ontology of Scientific Change that offered a definition of question was published. This is a good indication that the question of how question is to be defined is considered legitimate by the community.Yes

All Theories

The following definitions of the term have been suggested:
TheoryFormulationFormulated In
Question (Rawleigh-2018)A topic of inquiry.2018
If a definition of this term is missing, please click here to add it.

Accepted Theories

The following definitions of the term have been accepted:
CommunityTheoryAccepted FromAccepted Until
ScientonomyQuestion (Rawleigh-2018)26 September 2018

Suggested Modifications

Here is a list of modifications concerning this term:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2018-0001Scientonomy12 May 2018Accept the definition of question as a topic of inquiry.AcceptedThe consensus was reached as a result of in-person consultations with scientonomists mostly outside of the discussion page of this modification. It was agreed that as the only currently published definition of the term, Rawleigh's definition is to be accepted as the best available. An alternative definition of question as "a topic of scientific inquiry"c1 was presented as a potentially pursuit-worthy direction. However, it was eventually agreed that including "scientificity" into the definition of question conflates "the question of how a question should be defined" with "the question of what stances can be taken towards questions".c2 It does not distinguish "the propositional content of the element itself" and "its historical fate", for "scientificity or lack thereof doesn't change the propositional content of the question".c326 September 2018

Current Definition

In Scientonomy, the accepted definition of the term is Question (Rawleigh-2018).

Question (Rawleigh-2018) states: "A topic of inquiry."

Question (Rawleigh-2018).png

A question is a subject or area of inquiry into which epistemic communities can investigate. They are usually given in the form of an interrogative. Questions vary in their specificity and scope, from very wide (what are the properties of the universe?) to very narrow (why are there no instances of CP-violation observed in quantum chromodynamics?).

Another term for question is topic.



In Scientonomy, there are currently no accepted claims concerning the existence of Question.


In Scientonomy, no classes are currently accepted as disjoint with Question.


In Scientonomy, there are currently no accepted subtypes of Question.


In Scientonomy, the following supertype of Question is currently accepted:


In Scientonomy, the following associations of Question are currently accepted:

Epistemic Stances Towards Questions

In Scientonomy, the accepted answer to the question is "The stance of question acceptance can be taken towards a question."

If a question concerning the ontology of a question is missing, please add it here.


Necessary Questions

There is currently no accepted answer to this question in Scientonomy.

If a question concerning the dynamics of a question is missing, please add it here.