Theory vs. Method Compatibility
What is the relationship between the Compatibility Criteria for theories and for methods within the same Mosaic?
The currently-accepted Zeroth Law states that all elements of a mosaic must be compatible with each other. However, it is not clear whether compatibility for theories, and compatibility criteria for methods, must be the same or stated separately. Considering the Mechanism of Method Rejection and Mechanism of Method Employment currently accepted, it might be possible to state compatibility for methods strictly in terms of compatibility for theories, even though the formulation of Zeroth Law might imply otherwise. This is further justified by the fact that which compatibility can be understood relatively straightforwardly when comparing theories, but comparing methods for a notion of compatibility is much less so.
In the scientonomic context, this question was first formulated by Hakob Barseghyan and Christopher Kaumeyer in 2018. The question is currently accepted as a legitimate topic for discussion by Scientonomy community.
In Scientonomy, the accepted answer to the question is:
- If a pair of elements satisfies the compatibility criteria employed at the time, it becomes compatible within the mosaic; if it does not, it is deemed incompatible; and if assessment is inconclusive, the pair can become compatible, incompatible, or its status may be unknown.
|1 March 2018
|It was acknowledged as an open question by the Scientonomy Seminar 2018.
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The Law of Compatibility (Fraser-Sarwar-2018) states: "If a pair of elements satisfies the compatibility criteria employed at the time, it becomes compatible within the mosaic; if it does not, it is deemed incompatible; and if assessment is inconclusive, the pair can become compatible, incompatible, or its status may be unknown."
The law of compatibility links the compatibility criteria with various assessment outcomes. If compatibility is defined as the ability of a pair of elements to co-exist in the same mosaic, then the assessment for compatibility is essentially the process by which the epistemic agent decides whether any given pair of elements (i.e. theories, questions, methods) can be simultaneously part of their mosaic. Such an assessment can yield three possible outcomes - satisfied, not satisfied, and inconclusive.1 Accordingly, the law of compatibility states that if a pair of elements does satisfy the compatibility criteria of the time, then it is deemed as compatible. If, however, an element is taken to be incompatible with the other one, then the pair is deemed as incompatible. Finally, the assessment of compatibility may be inconclusive. In this case, the pair may be deemed compatible, incompatible, or its status may remain unknown. The diagram below summarizes the relation between assessment outcomes and their effects:
This question is a subquestion of Mechanism of Compatibility.
This topic is also related to the following topic(s):
- Fraser, Patrick and Sarwar, Ameer. (2018) A Compatibility Law and the Classification of Theory Change. Scientonomy 2, 67-82. Retrieved from https://scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/31278.