Scope of Scientonomy - Explicit and Implicit
Ought a scientonomic theory account for only changes to explicit elements of the mosaic or must it also deal with changes in implicit elements that are not openly stated?
In the context of theory appraisal, the term 'method' has, in the past, been used in two different ways. One refers to explicitly professed rules of theory assessment as featured in the written works of scientists, the other has to do with implicit rules actually employed in theory assessment.1 Many philosophers and historians of science have argued that scientists often acted differently than what their explicitly prescribed methodologies required. This raises the question about whether a scientonomic theory should distinguish the two, and if so, how should it treat them? The answer to this question will change the scope of the scientonomic theories.
In Scientonomy, the accepted answer to the question is:
- A scientonomic theory ought to distinguish between explicit statements of methodology, and actual employed methods, which may sometimes be implicit. It ought to account for employed methods, whether they correspond with stated methodology, or are purely implicit.
This was not an issue during the era of logical positivists, logical empiricists and Karl Popper due to the fact that they were mainly concerned with normative theories. As a result, their theories have concentrated on explicit requirements rather than the actual expectations of science. For example, Popper has criticized logical positivists on a priori explicit methodological grounds.2 It is also important to note that all of them agreed on the existence of a universal scientific method.3 4 While they disagreed on what the exact method was, they still presupposed it. Consequently, they believed that all scientific communities utilized the scientific method either explicitly or implicitly. The view over the existence of a universal scientific method is also shared by John Worrall as well.5
Thomas Kuhn was more ambiguous on the issue. He rejected the existence of a universal method and believed that different paradigms employed different methods.6 However, his view can be read as change in methodology as well. After a paradigm shift occurs, scientists change their explicitly stated methodology in the new textbooks. Thus, it is not clear what his view is on this issue.
Paul Feyerabend was skeptical about the existence of a universal method. His argument was that every normative philosophical theories we possess contradict the actual practice of scientists.7 Put in different terms, his view is that there is a sharp distinction between the methodologies which scientists prescribe and the methods which they actually employ during various episodes of scientific change. As a result, he believed that there were many methods scientists actually employed during their practices and there was no universally employed method.7 He gave the example of Galileo who, along with his supporters, was concerned with experimental confirmations while his community required a new theory to be intuitively true or follow from the first principles.7 The example shows that normative methodologies philosophers come up with are unable to capture the practices of at least one important group. Therefore, Feyerabend, believed that philosophers should give greater weight to the implicit methods scientists employed rather the explicit methodologies.
Larry Laudan believed that there was a disconnection between what scientists believed they were doing and what they were actually doing.8 The former refers to the explicit statements of scientists on how their science should be conducted. These requirements were different in various periods. Laudan gives the example of the transition from the inductivist methodology to the hypothetico-deductive methodology.8 Inductivism forbids positing the existence of unobservable entities. However, scientists in the 19th Century were positing the existence of many unobservable entities including atoms and the force of gravity. Laudan subsequently argues that we should focus on the actual expectations of the scientific community rather than the explicit expectations scientists say they possess.8
|Community||Accepted From||Acceptance Indicators||Still Accepted||Accepted Until||Rejection Indicators|
|Scientonomy||1 January 2016||That is when the community accepted its first answer to this question, the Scope of Scientonomy - Both Explicit and Implicit (Barseghyan-2015), which indicates that the question is itself considered legitimate.pp. 52-60||Yes|
|Scope of Scientonomy - Implicit and Explicit (Barseghyan-2017)||A scientonomic theory ought to distinguish between explicit statements of methodology, and actual employed methods, which may sometimes be implicit. It ought to account for employed methods, whether they correspond with stated methodology, or are purely implicit.||2017|
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|Community||Theory||Accepted From||Accepted Until|
|Scientonomy||Scope of Scientonomy - Implicit and Explicit (Barseghyan-2017)||1 January 2016|
In Scientonomy, the accepted answer to the question is Scope of Scientonomy - Implicit and Explicit (Barseghyan-2017).
Scope of Scientonomy - Implicit and Explicit (Barseghyan-2017) states: "A scientonomic theory ought to distinguish between explicit statements of methodology, and actual employed methods, which may sometimes be implicit. It ought to account for employed methods, whether they correspond with stated methodology, or are purely implicit."
The methods employed in theory assessment do not always correspond to the professed scientific methodology, and may be purely implicit. Thus, a scientonomic theory ought to distinguish between accepted methodologies and employed methods. Because of their role in theory assessment, and thus in determining the contents of the scientific mosaic, a scientonomic theory ought to include employed methods, whether they are explicit or implicit. 1
This question is a subquestion of Scope of Scientonomy.
It has the following sub-topic(s):
This topic is also related to the following topic(s):
- Scope of Scientonomy - Construction and Appraisal
- Scope of Scientonomy - Descriptive and Normative
- Scope of Scientonomy - Individual and Social
- Scope of Scientonomy - Time Fields and Scale
- Scope of Scientonomy - Acceptance Use and Pursuit
- Indicators of Method Employment
- Indicators of Theory Acceptance
- Barseghyan, Hakob. (2015) The Laws of Scientific Change. Springer.
- Popper, Karl. (1959) The Logic of Scientific Discovery. Hutchinson & Co.
- Ayer, Alfred Jules. (1952) Language, Truth and Logic. Dover Publications.
- Popper, Karl. (1963) Conjectures and Refutations. Routledge.
- Worrall, John. (1988) Review: The Value of a Fixed Methodology. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39, 263-275.
- Kuhn, Thomas. (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.
- Feyerabend, Paul. (1975) Against Method. New Left Books.
- Laudan, Larry. (1984) Science and Values. University of California Press.