The Status of Holism and Ripple Effect

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Is it the case that changes in one of the elements of a mosaic can have a "ripple effect" on the rest of the mosaic?

As an element of a mosaic undergoes modification, it seems that other elements that are dependent on this element can also undergo change. For instance, there appear to be cases where a change in the definition of a certain concept may have a ripple effect on other accepted theories which use that concept. The question is whether there is such a thing as "ripple effect" and, if so, whether these "ripple" changes exhibit the same patterns as other instances of scientific change?

For example, suppose a community accepts a theory T1 which describes the set of planets as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, and theory P holds that all planets revolve in ellipses. Now suppose a theory T2, describing the set of planets as that of T1 and also including Neptune, replaces T1. While it is clear that theory T has undergone a scientific change, can the same be said of theory P? Would considering the change in reference of theory P to be a scientific change as described by the Theory Rejection Theorem be a violation of the laws of scientific change?

The extent and consequences of this alleged holism have yet to be considered in scientonomy. Our concern is the role of this ripple effect in scientific change and whether or not it warrants change in our current conceptions.

In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Hakob Barseghyan, Paul Patton, Calahan Janik-Jones and Liron Cohen in 2018. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community.

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

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CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy15 February 2018It was acknowledged as an open question by the Scientonomy Seminar 2018.Yes

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Related Topics

This question is a subquestion of Mechanism of Scientific Change.

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