Zoe Sebastien is a Canadian scientonomist notable for her resolution of the paradox of normative propositions and reformulation of the third law.
Here are all the modifications suggested by Sebastien:
- Sciento-2016-0001: Accept a new formulation of the third law to make it clear that employed methods do not have to be deducible from all accepted theories and employed methods but only from some. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Zoe Sebastien on 3 September 2016.1 The modification was accepted on 21 January 2017. There was a community consensus that "the new formulation of the third law does bring an additional level of precision to our understanding of the mechanism of method change".c1 The community agreed that the new formulation "makes a clarification that, on its own, warrants this modification's acceptance".c2 Importantly, it was also agreed that the modification "solves the paradox of normative propositions".c3
- Sciento-2016-0002: Accept a new taxonomy for theory, normative theory, descriptive theory to reintroduce normative propositions (such as those of ethics or methodology) to the scientific mosaic. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Zoe Sebastien on 3 September 2016.1 The discussion was closed on 23 January 2017 and the modification was not accepted. Since 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it was decided to divide this modification into two modifications - one definitional and one ontological.c3 It was superseded by Sciento-2017-0001 and Sciento-2017-0002.
- Sciento-2017-0001: Accept new definitions for theory, normative theory, and descriptive theory. Also, modify the definition of methodology to reflect these changes. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Zoe Sebastien on 23 January 2017.1 The modification was accepted on 15 February 2017. The community agreed that this is "an important addition to theoretical scientonomy".c1 It was agreed that since "the paradox of normative propositions has been solved, a revised set of definitions was needed".c2 It was emphasized that if we're going to have any sort of conversation on the status of normative propositions in the mosaic, "then we need to start from a definition".c3
- Sciento-2017-0002: Accept a new ontology of scientific change where the two fundamental elements are theories - both descriptive and normative - and methods. The modification was suggested to Scientonomy community by Zoe Sebastien on 23 January 2017.1 The modification was accepted on 15 February 2017. The 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".c4
The following table contains all the theories formulated by Sebastien:
|Theory Acceptance (Sebastien-2016)||Definition||A theory is said to be accepted if it is taken as the best available description or prescription of its object.||2016|
|The Third Law (Sebastien-2016)||Descriptive||A method becomes employed only when it is deducible from some subset of other employed methods and accepted theories of the time.||2016|
|Resolution to the Paradox of Normative Propositions (Sebastien-2016)||Descriptive||The new third law resolves the paradox of normative propositions by making it clear that employed methods don't necessarily follow from all accepted theories, but only from some.||2016|
|Theory (Sebastien-2016)||Definition||A set of propositions.||2016|
|Methodology (Sebastien-2016)||Definition||A normative theory that prescribes the rules which ought to be employed in theory assessment.||2016|
|Descriptive Theory (Sebastien-2016)||Definition||A set of propositions that attempts to describe something.||2016|
|Normative Theory Is a Subtype of Theory (Sebastien-2016)||Descriptive||Normative Theory is a subtype of Theory, i.e. theory is a supertype of normative theory.||2016|
|Normative Theory (Sebastien-2016)||Definition||A set of propositions that attempts to prescribe something.||2016|
|Normative Theory Exists||Descriptive||There is such a thing as a normative theory.||2016|
Here are all the questions formulated by Sebastien:
- Associations of Normative Theory: How is the class of normative theory associated with other classes (and itself)? What aggregation, composition, or other association relations can exist between normative theories, as well as between a normative theory and instances of other classes?
- Disjointness of Normative Theory: What other classes is the class of normative theory disjoint with, i.e. classes that don't share any instances with normative theory?
- Epistemic Stances Towards Normative Theories: What types of epistemic stances can be taken by epistemic agents towards normative theories?
- Existence of Normative Theory: Does a normative theory exist?
- Normative Theory: What is normative theory? How should it be defined?
- Subtypes of Normative Theory: What are the subtypes of a normative theory?
- Supertypes of Normative Theory: What are the supertypes of a normative theory?
Here are the works of Sebastien included in the bibliographic records of this encyclopedia:
- Sebastien (2016): Sebastien, Zoe. (2016) The Status of Normative Propositions in the Theory of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 1, 1-9. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/26947.
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- Sebastien, Zoe. (2016) The Status of Normative Propositions in the Theory of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 1, 1-9. Retrieved from https://www.scientojournal.com/index.php/scientonomy/article/view/26947.