Theory Acceptance (Sebastien-2016)

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A definition of Theory Acceptance that states "A theory is said to be accepted if it is taken as the best available description or prescription of its object."

Acceptance Sebastien 2016.png

This definition of Theory Acceptance was formulated by Zoe Sebastien in 2016.1


Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of Theory Acceptance (Sebastien-2016):
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy15 February 2017The definition became accepted as a result of the acceptance of the respective suggested modification.No1 September 2019The definition became rejected as a result of the acceptance of the respective suggested modification.

Suggestions To Accept

Here are all the modifications where the acceptance of this theory has been suggested:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2016-0002Scientonomy3 September 2016Accept a new taxonomy for theory, normative theory, descriptive theory to reintroduce normative propositions (such as those of ethics or methodology) to the scientific mosaic.Not AcceptedSince this modification consisted of two interrelated but essentially distinct suggestions - one definitional and one ontological - it was decided by the community to divide it into two modifications so that the gist of the proposed suggestions is properly articulated. In particular, it was agreed that there are two modifications in "the heart of this single modification - one ontological, the other definitional".c1 It was also agreed that the current formulation "is exclusively definitional, and does not give the community an opportunity to appreciate (and, well, accept) the ontological changes that come along with it".c2 Consequently, it was decided to divide this modification into two modifications - one definitional and one ontological.c323 January 2017
Sciento-2017-0002Scientonomy23 January 2017Accept a new ontology of scientific change where the two fundamental elements are theories - both descriptive and normative - and methods.AcceptedThe community has agreed that after the solution of the paradox of normative propositions, there are no obstacles for including normative propositions into the ontology of scientific change.c1 c2 c3 It was also agreed that including normative propositions into the ontology of scientific change "would allow us to grasp the role that methodological and ethical rules play in science".c415 February 2017

Suggestions To Reject

These are all the modifications where the rejection of the theory has been suggested:
ModificationCommunityDate SuggestedSummaryVerdictVerdict RationaleDate Assessed
Sciento-2018-0006Scientonomy8 October 2018Accept the new ontology of epistemic elements with, theories and questions are the two basic epistemic elements where and each theory is an attempt to answer a certain question, theories can be of three types – descriptive, normative, or definitions, and methods are a subtype of normative theory.AcceptedFollowing a series of off-line discussions, a consensus emerged concerning this modification: it was agreed that the modification is to be accepted.c1 It was mentioned that most of the elements of this new ontology "has already been accepted by the scientonomic community".c2 It was also stressed that "the consensus has been manifested on several occasions, including the first scientonomy conference in May 2019 in Toronto, where several of the presenters treated this new ontology as accepted."c3 The fact that the consensus concerning this modification has been achieved primarily off-line, i.e. outside of the discussion pages of this encyclopedia suggests that the scientonomic "workflow must have a way of accommodating these discussions".c41 September 2019
Sciento-2018-0019Scientonomy28 January 2018Accept the new definition of theory acceptance which makes explicit that accepted theories are a subset of scientific theories.Open

Question Answered

Theory Acceptance (Sebastien-2016) is an attempt to answer the following question: What does it mean to say that a theory is accepted? How should theory acceptance be defined?

See Theory Acceptance for more details.


This definition expands on the original definition of the term proposed by Barseghyan to ensure that the term is applicable not only to descriptive theories but also to normative theories. It assumes that descriptive theories attempt to provide descriptions of their respective objects, while normative theories attempt to prescribe a certain object, the latter being understood as a certain state of affairs.


No reasons are indicated for this theory.


  1. ^  Sebastien, Zoe. (2016) The Status of Normative Propositions in the Theory of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 1, 1-9. Retrieved from