Questions as Epistemic Elements (Rawleigh-2018)
An attempt to answer the question of Status of Questions which states "Questions (topics, problems) are epistemic elements."
|Community||Accepted From||Acceptance Indicators||Still Accepted||Accepted Until||Rejection Indicators|
|Scientonomy||26 September 2018||The proposition became accepted as a result of the acceptance of the respective suggested modification.||Yes|
Suggestions To Accept
|Modification||Community||Date Suggested||Summary||Verdict||Verdict Rationale||Date Assessed|
|Sciento-2018-0002||Scientonomy||12 May 2018||Accept the ontology of epistemic elements with theories, methods, and questions as distinct epistemic elements.||Accepted||Following several focused discussions - both in-person and on the discussion page of this modification - it was finally decided that the modification is to be accepted. Three important clarifications were made. First, it was noted that Rawleigh only shows that questions cannot be reduced either to methods or to theories, but it is still conceivable "that questions may be functions of both theories and methods simultaneously".c1 Second, it was decided that accepting the modification is still warranted, since currently we don't have any idea how questions could be reduced to a conjunction of theories and methods.c2 Third, scientonomists are actively encouraged to pursue the question of possibility of reducing questions to a conjunction of theories and methods.c3||26 September 2018|
Questions as Epistemic Elements (Rawleigh-2018) is an attempt to answer the following question: What is the status of questions (problems, topics) in the ontology of epistemic elements?
See Status of Questions for more details.
A study of the process of scientific change reveals many cases when a question that was considered legitimate in a certain time-period became illegitimate in another period. For example, the questions such as “what is the weight of phlogiston?” or “why does some matter gain mass as it loses phlogiston?” were accepted as legitimate topics of inquiry for the most part of the 18th century. Yet, once the phlogiston theory was rejected, these questions became illegitimate. Another examples is the question “what is the distance from the earth to the sphere of stars?” that was once considered legitimate by astronomers, but is no longer accepted.1
Similarly, there are questions which are considered legitimate these days but weren't accepted even a few centuries ago. An example of this is the question “what’s the underlying mechanics of the evolution of species?” - a perfectly legitimate topic of biological research nowadays that would have been deemed illegitimate three hundred years ago.1
These examples suggest that questions are part of the process of scientific changes. More specifically, they are part the ontology of epistemic elements.
- Rawleigh, William. (2018) The Status of Questions in the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 1-12. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/29651.