Scope of Scientonomy - Time Fields and Scale
For changes in the mosaic of what time period ought a scientonomic theory account? For changes in which fields of inquiry ought it to account? Ought it deal only in grand changes, or should it account for minor changes as well?
A scientonomic theory could account for all changes that the mosaic has undergone since antiquity, or only those undergone since the scientific revolution, or over some other historically limited period. It could deal only with certain scientific fields, like physics, or biology, or with all of them. It could deal only with grand changes, like the scientific revolution, or with the kind of small changes that are constantly going on in science.
In Scientonomy, the accepted answers to the question can be summarized as follows:
- Scientonomy should account for all changes to the scientific mosaic, regardless of which fields of inquiry they concern. Scientonomy should provide explanations of all kinds of changes to the scientific mosaic at all scales from the most minor transitions to the most major. Scientonomy ought to account for all scientific changes for all time periods where a scientific mosaic can be found.
Philosophers of science often held that theories of scientific change only apply to more contemporary science, while others did not restrict their time frames. Certain philosophers have restricted their scope to more mature or hard sciences, while others have remained non-committal or unrestricted. Many scientific methodologies also distinguished between smaller and larger scale scientific changes.
Lakatos's methodology which heavily involved the notion of confirmed novel predictions in theory acceptance is hardly applicable to pre-16th century science such as Aristotelian-Medieval science where novel predictions played little to no role.1 Lakatos also divides the sciences through his own demarcation between 'mature sciences' and 'immature sciences' where his research programmes are only present in the more mature sciences.1 Lakatos divides the scale of scientific change into the large changes experienced by the hard core and the smaller shifts of the protective belt or auxiliary hypotheses.1
The VPI project which compared many theories of science against historical episodes restricted itself to post-16th century science.2 However, it ostensibly applied to all fields of inquiry.2 The VPI project also distinguished between major and minor changes in science.2
Kuhn’s theory was intended to apply to ancient and medieval science as well as post-16th century science.3 Kuhn restricted himself to to mature physical sciences, despite his theory being applicable to more fields.4 Kuhn draws the line between transitions occurring in normal science and revolutionary transitions between paradigms.3
Both Laudan's early (1977) and late (1984) theories could apply to virtually all historical episodes. Laudan's early theory focused on science's problem-solving capability which is relevant to effectively all periods of science.5 Laudan's later reticulated model which included a piecemeal approach to changing scientific theory, methodology and axiology is applicable to all historical periods.6 Laudan's theories were also applicable to most scientific domains and his reticulated model in particular could distinguish between changes in methods or aims and changes in theories.
Although some exclude political or cultural studies from the realms of scientific inquiry, Bunge notes that although political or cultural studies may seem primitive in relation to harder sciences, they do still provide scientific generalizations.7 Bunge delineated between changes in specific theories and generic theories (or frameworks).7
Sarton explained how the history of science cannot be looked at from a fixed modern perspective.8 The evolution of scientific knowledge must be appreciated and the modern views must be understood to only stand exalted in virtue of their historical predecessors. Thus, Sarton concludes that to do history of science one must not focus exclusively modern science, but the process that lead us to where we are today.
Wilson and Ashplant also warn of restricting the fields of inquiry in the history or philosophy of science to only those fields which meet the present day's scientific demarcation criteria rather than the demarcation criteria of the past.9 They called this doing 'tunnel history'.
|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 - Acceptance (Barseghyan-2015), which indicates that the question is itself considered legitimate. pp. 61-72||Yes|
|Scope of Scientonomy - All Fields (Barseghyan-2015)||Scientonomy should account for all changes to the scientific mosaic, regardless of which fields of inquiry they concern.||2015|
|Scope of Scientonomy - All Scales (Barseghyan-2015)||Scientonomy should provide explanations of all kinds of changes to the scientific mosaic at all scales from the most minor transitions to the most major.||2015|
|Scope of Scientonomy - All Time Periods (Barseghyan-2015)||Scientonomy ought to account for all scientific changes for all time periods where a scientific mosaic can be found.||2015|
If an answer to this question is missing, please click here to add it.
|Community||Theory||Accepted From||Accepted Until|
|Scientonomy||Scope of Scientonomy - All Time Periods (Barseghyan-2015)||1 January 2016|
|Scientonomy||Scope of Scientonomy - All Fields (Barseghyan-2015)||1 January 2016|
|Scientonomy||Scope of Scientonomy - All Scales (Barseghyan-2015)||1 January 2016|
In Scientonomy, the accepted answers to the question are Scope of Scientonomy - All Fields (Barseghyan-2015), Scope of Scientonomy - All Scales (Barseghyan-2015) and Scope of Scientonomy - All Time Periods (Barseghyan-2015).
Scope of Scientonomy - All Fields (Barseghyan-2015) states: "Scientonomy should account for all changes to the scientific mosaic, regardless of which fields of inquiry they concern."
It is a task of scientonomy to trace and explain all changes in a mosaic, regardless of which field (discipline) the change concerns. This applies to all fields of inquiry considered scientific by the respective community. For instance, if theology or astrology were parts of the mosaic under study, then a transition from one accepted theological or astrological theory to another during that time period should be explained by scientonomy.
Scope of Scientonomy - All Scales (Barseghyan-2015) states: "Scientonomy should provide explanations of all kinds of changes to the scientific mosaic at all scales from the most minor transitions to the most major."
Any change in a mosaic is within the scope of scientonomy. Scientonomy should explain not only major transitions in the mosaic such as those from the Aristotelian-Medieval set of theories to those of Descartes and his followers, but also relatively minor transitions, such as a transition from "the Solar system has 7 planets" to "the Solar system has 8 planets". The question of actual taxonomy of scales is to be settled by an actual scientonomic theory. A scientonomic theory may distinguish between between grand and minor changes, revolutions and normal-science changes, or hard core and auxiliary changes; in any case, it ought to provide explanations at changes at all levels.
Scope of Scientonomy - All Time Periods (Barseghyan-2015) states: "Scientonomy ought to account for all scientific changes for all time periods where a scientific mosaic can be found."
Scientonomy ought not to limit its applicability to a restricted time period. If a scientific mosaic can be identified at a certain period in time, then it is a task of scientonomy to explain any and all changes in that mosaic at that time period. Similarly, an observational scientonomists ought not exclude any time period from their domain.
This question is a subquestion of Scope of Scientonomy.
This topic is also related to the following topic(s):
- Lakatos, Imre. (1978) Philosophical Papers: Volume 1. The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes. Cambridge University Press.
- Donovan, Arthur; Laudan, Larry and Laudan, Rachel. (Eds.). (1988) Scrutinizing Science: Empirical Studies of Scientific Change. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- Kuhn, Thomas. (1996) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: Third Edition. University of Chicago Press.
- Nickles, Thomas. (1986) Remarks on the Use of History as Evidence. Synthese, 253-266.
- Laudan, Larry. (1977) Progress and Its Problems. University of California Press.
- Kuhn, Thomas. (1984) Revisiting Planck. Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 14 (2), 231-252.
- Bunge, Mario. (1999) Social Science Under Debate. University of Toronto Press.
- Sarton, George. (1924) The New Humanism. Isis 6 (1), 9-42.
- Wilson, Adrian and Ashplant, Timothy. (1988) Present-centred History and the Problem of Historical Knowledge. The Historical Journal 31 (2), 253-274.