Paul Patton (born 31 October 1957) is an American scientonomist and editor of the Encyclopedia of Scientonomy notable for his reformulation of the second law of scientific change.
Here are all the modifications suggested by Patton:
- Sciento-2017-0004: Accept the reformulation of the second law which explicitly links theory assessment outcomes with theory acceptance/unacceptance. To that end, accept three new definitions for theory assessment outcomes (satisfied, not satisfied, and inconclusive) as well as the new ontology of theory assessment outcomes, and accept the new definition of employed method. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Paul Patton, Nicholas Overgaard and Hakob Barseghyan on 5 February 2017.1 The modification was accepted on 29 November 2017. The new formulation of the law became accepted as a result of a communal consensus. It was noted by the commentators that the "modification provides a much improved formulation of the 2nd law".c1 It was noted that the new formulation "decouples the method from acceptance outcomes" and "is needed to avoid a contradiction for cases where assessment by the method is inconclusive, but the theory is accepted".c2 It was agreed that the new law eliminates two of the major flaws of the previous formulation. First, it clearly states the relations between different assessment outcomes and the actual theory acceptance/unacceptance. Second, it clearly forbids certain conceivable courses of events and, thus, doesn't sounds like a tautology.c3
- Sciento-2017-0005: Accept that the new second law is not a tautology. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Paul Patton, Nicholas Overgaard and Hakob Barseghyan on 5 February 2017.1 The modification was accepted on 29 November 2017. The modification was deemed uncontroversial by the community. Its acceptance was contingent upon the acceptance of the new formulation of the second law suggested by Patton, Overgaard and Barseghyan. Once the new second law became accepted, it was also accepted that the new law is not a tautology. There was no notable discussion concerning this modification.
- Sciento-2017-0006: Accept the following set of inferences of theory assessment outcomes from the acceptance or unacceptance of a single contender and two contenders. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Paul Patton, Nicholas Overgaard and Hakob Barseghyan on 5 February 2017.1 The modification is currently being evaluated; a verdict is pending.
TheoriesThe following table contains all the theories formulated by Patton:
|Theory Assessment Outcomes (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Descriptive||The possible outcomes of theory assessment are satisfied, not satisfied, and inconclusive.||2017|
|Employed Method (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Definition||A method is said to be employed if its requirements constitute the actual expectations of the community.||2017|
|Inferring Theory Assessment Outcomes from Acceptance/Unacceptance of a Single Contender (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Descriptive||There is a series of inferences that can be made from the acceptance or unacceptance of a single contender.||2017|
|Outcome Satisfied (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Definition||The theory is deemed to conclusively meet the requirements of the method employed at the time.||2017|
|Inferring Theory Assessment Outcomes from Acceptance/Unacceptance of Two Contenders (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Descriptive||There is a series of inferences that can be made from the acceptance or unacceptance of two contender theories.||2017|
|Outcome Not Satisfied (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Definition||The theory is deemed to conclusively not meet the requirements of the method employed at the time.||2017|
|The Second Law (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Descriptive||If a theory satisfies the acceptance criteria of the method employed at the time, it becomes accepted into the mosaic; if it does not, it remains unaccepted; if assessment is inconclusive, the theory can be accepted or not accepted.||2017|
|Outcome Inconclusive (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Definition||It is unclear whether or not the requirements of the method employed at the time are met.||2017|
|The Second Law is Not a Tautology (Patton-Overgaard-Barseghyan-2017)||Descriptive||The second law is not a tautology.||2017|
Here are all the questions formulated by Patton:
- Application of Scientonomy to Other Fields: What is the broader relevance of scientonomy? How can scientonomy inform other fields of inquiry?
- Conclusive Theory Assessment: Are there any actual historical instances of conclusive theory assessment or does every case of theory assessment involve some degree of inconclusiveness?
- Delegation of Authority to Past Communities: Is it possible for a community to delegate authority to a community that no longer exists? Can a community delegate authority to a past expert?
- Deriving Methods from an Empty Set: Does the possibility of a method being derived from an empty set pose a problem for the current formulation of the third law? Can we conceive of a situation in which a method is derived from an empty subset?
- Indicators of Inconclusiveness: What indicators enable us to identify a historical case of inconclusive theory assessment?
- Individual and Communal Levels: What is the relation between the communal and the individual level? To what extent can the individual level epistemic stances tell about the communal level?
- Inferring Theory Assessment Outcomes: What can an observational scientonomist infer about a theory's assessment outcome from the theory's acceptance/unacceptance?
- Law: How should we define the term law in the scientonomic context? How is law different from theory? Do we even need law as a separate concept?
- Methods and Technical Research Tools: What is the relationship between methods and technical research tools?
- Outcome Not Satisfied: How should the theory assessment outcome not satisfied be defined?
- Outcome Satisfied: How should the theory assessment outcome satisfied be defined?
- Role of Non-Social and Environmental Factors in Scientific Change: In addition to interactions between people in a community, what role do interactions between people and their natural, non-social environment have on the process of scientific change?
- Role of Practical Considerations in Scientific Change: What is the role of practical considerations such as financial constraints or limitations of manpower in the process of scientific change?
- Role of Used Theories in Method Employment: Does the third law allow for methods to be deductive consequences of used theories?
- Technological Theory: What is technological theory? How should it be defined?
- The Necessity of Language in Community: Is a shared language, or propositional code, presupposed by the existence of an epistemic community?
- The Status of Holism and Ripple Effect: 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?
- Theory Displacement: Is it conceivable that, following the rejection of a method, that any theories which satisfied its requirements also would become rejected, seeing as how the reasons for belief in them no longer hold (in the eyes of the community)?
Here are the works of Patton included in the bibliographic records of this encyclopedia:
- Patton, Overgaard, and Barseghyan (2017): Patton, Paul; Overgaard, Nicholas and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2017) Reformulating the Second Law. Scientonomy 1, 29-39. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/27158.
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- Patton, Paul; Overgaard, Nicholas and Barseghyan, Hakob. (2017) Reformulating the Second Law. Scientonomy 1, 29-39. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/27158.