Scope of Scientonomy - Construction and Appraisal

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Ought the process of scientific change be viewed from the perspective of theory construction or that of theory appraisal?

Theory construction is the generation, or creation of new theories. Theory appraisal is the process by which a theory is evaluated for acceptance into a scientific mosaic. While these two processes may be historically intertwined, they nonetheless represent two distinctive perspectives that one might take towards a theory. 1pp. 21-30 Ought scientonomy deal with the process of theory construction, of that of theory appraisal, or with both of them?

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Hakob Barseghyan in 2015. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community. Scope of Scientonomy - Appraisal (Barseghyan-2015) is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available theory on the subject. Scope of Scientonomy - Appraisal (Barseghyan-2015) states "Scientonomy should describe and explain how changes in the mosaic of accepted scientific theories and employed methods take place. Any such instance of scientific change is a result of appraisal, which is a decision of the community to accept a proposed modification to the mosaic. Scientonomy must provide an account of this appraisal process. A theory of scientific change is not required to account for the process of theory construction."

Prehistory

The current statement of this question is the product of a long prior history. The precursor to the distinction between theory construction and theory appraisal was the distinction between the context of discovery, which is a historical and creative process having to do with the construction of the theory, and the context of justification, which is the supposedly distinct logical enterprise of the defense and appraisal of a theory. This distinction was first explicitly drawn by Hans Reichenbach. 2 It was implicit in works of scientific methodology going back to the nineteenth century, and has been traced by Popper back to Kant. 3 The idea that the historical context of discovery can be clearly distinguished from the logical context of justification was questioned by Hanson, Kuhn, and Feyerabend, who argued that the two were thoroughly intertwined. 1p. 234p. 149

Paul Hoyningen-Huene 5pp. 128-130 proposed a lean distinction between the two contexts, supposing that they are simply two different perspectives that can be taken towards scientific knowledge. He did not see discovery and justification are two distinct processes, thereby sidestepping earlier objections. While accepting this lean distinction, Barseghyan 1pp. 23-25 argued that the terms 'discovery' and 'justification' are misleading names to apply to the two perspectives. The term 'discovery' is inappropriate because a discovery is generally taken to be an epistemic achievement that has been positively appraised, such as the discovery of the planet Neptune. The term 'construction', he supposes, is better suited to refer to the creative processes by which new theories are formulated. These processes are generally seen to lie within the subject matter of psychology and sociology. Theories undergo a process of appraisal by a scientific community which involves reasoning processes. This question is a question about what scientonomy ought to take as its subject matter, theory construction, theory appraisal, or both.

History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this question (it includes all the instances when the question was accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by a community):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy1 January 2016The community has accepted its first answer to this question, the Scope of Scientonomy - Appraisal (Barseghyan-2015), which indicates that the question is itself considered legitimate. 1pp. 21-30Yes

All Theories

The following theories have attempted to answer this question:
TheoryFormulationFormulated In
Scope of Scientonomy - Appraisal (Barseghyan-2015)Scientonomy should describe and explain how changes in the mosaic of accepted scientific theories and employed methods take place. Any such instance of scientific change is a result of appraisal, which is a decision of the community to accept a proposed modification to the mosaic. Scientonomy must provide an account of this appraisal process. A theory of scientific change is not required to account for the process of theory construction.2015
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Accepted Theories

The following theories have been accepted as answers to this question:
CommunityTheoryAccepted FromAccepted Until
ScientonomyScope of Scientonomy - Appraisal (Barseghyan-2015)1 January 2016

Suggested Modifications

According to our records, there have been no suggested modifications on this topic.

Current View

In Scientonomy community, the accepted theory on the subject is Scope of Scientonomy - Appraisal (Barseghyan-2015). It states: "Scientonomy should describe and explain how changes in the mosaic of accepted scientific theories and employed methods take place. Any such instance of scientific change is a result of appraisal, which is a decision of the community to accept a proposed modification to the mosaic. Scientonomy must provide an account of this appraisal process. A theory of scientific change is not required to account for the process of theory construction." The goal of scientonomy is to give a descriptive account of the process of scientific change. Given this goal, it is obvious that it must describe and explain how changes in the mosaic of accepted scientific theories and employed methods take place. Any actual instance of scientific change is the result of an appraisal. Therefore, a theory of scientific change must provide an account of how theories are actually appraised and thereby explain how changes in the mosaic occur. On the other hand, it can but is not required to account for the process of theory construction.1p. 29 Read More

Related Topics

This topic is a sub-topic of Scope of Scientonomy.

This topic is also related to the following topic(s):

References

  1. a b c d e  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.
  2. ^  Laudan, Larry. (1980) Why Was the Logic of Scientific Discovery Abandoned? In Nickles (Ed.) (1980), 173-183.
  3. ^  Popper, Karl. (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Hutchinson & Co.
  4. ^  Feyerabend, Paul. (1975) Against Method. New Left Books.
  5. ^  Hoyningen-Huene, Paul. (2006) Context of Discovery Versus Context of Justification and Thomas Kuhn. In Schickore and Steinle (Eds.) (2006), 119-131.

Contributors

Hakob Barseghyan (17.5%), Paul Patton (82.5%)