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What is question? How should it be defined?

In the scientonomic context, this term was first used by William Rawleigh in 2018. The term is currently accepted by Scientonomy community.

In Scientonomy, the accepted definition of the term is:

  • 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:
Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Verdict Verdict Rationale Date Assessed
Sciento-2018-0001 Scientonomy 12 May 2018 Accept the definition of question as a topic of inquiry. Accepted The 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".c3 26 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, it is currently accepted that "There is such a thing as a 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 answers to the question can be summarized as follows:

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


Mechanism of Scientific Inertia for Questions

The question has no accepted answer.

Necessary Questions

The question has no accepted answer.

Mechanism of Question Rejection

The question has no accepted answer.

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