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Discipline Acceptance (Patton-Al-Zayadi-2021)

This is a definition of Discipline Acceptance that states "A discipline is said to be accepted by an epistemic agent if that agent accepts the core questions specified in the discipline’s delineating theory as well as the delineating theory itself."

Discipline Acceptance (Patton-Al-Zayadi-2021).png

This definition of Discipline Acceptance was formulated by Paul Patton and Cyrus Al-Zayadi in 2021.1 It is currently accepted by Scientonomy community as the best available definition of the term.

Scientonomic History

Acceptance Record

Here is the complete acceptance record of this definition:
CommunityAccepted FromAcceptance IndicatorsStill AcceptedAccepted UntilRejection Indicators
Scientonomy21 February 2024The definition became accepted as a result of the acceptance of the respective modification.Yes

Suggestions To Accept

Here are all the modifications where the acceptance of this definition has been suggested:

Modification Community Date Suggested Summary Date Assessed Verdict Verdict Rationale
Sciento-2021-0006 Scientonomy 1 August 2021 Accept new definitions of subquestion, core question, core theory, discipline, delineating theory, subdiscipline, and discipline acceptance. 21 February 2024 Accepted Prior to the 2024 workshop, Hakob Barseghyan commented on the encyclopedia indicating his support for accepting this modification and noted its potential to underpin further work on discipline dynamics. In fact, a significant amount of observational scientonomy work has been carried out in the past few years (including the paper on the rejection of alchemy by Friesen and Patton (2023),2 as well as some more recent papers) that presupposes the acceptance of these definitions, despite the fact that the modification containing them formally remains open. There was very little discussion about the modification, beyond raising points for the community to look forward to in the future, like a brief discussion between Jamie Shaw and Paul Patton about the need for more research on the difference between disciplines and disciplinary communities. The modification was accepted unanimously with 18 votes.

Question Answered

Discipline Acceptance (Patton-Al-Zayadi-2021) is an attempt to answer the following question: What is discipline acceptance? How should it be defined?

See Discipline Acceptance for more details.


Theories and questions can both be the subject of the epistemic stances of epistemic agents.345 Disciplines like biology, physics, and astrology can also be the subject of such stances. For example, biology and physics are accepted by the scientific community of the modern world as disciplines, but astrology is rejected. In our definition, a discipline is said to be accepted by an epistemic agent if that agent accepts the core questions specified in the discipline's delineating theory, as well as the delineating theory itself.1

This definition takes discipline acceptance to be derivative of theory acceptance and question acceptance. It requires first, that an agent accepts the delineating theory that specifies that a particular set of core questions characterize a discipline. For example, the scientific community accepts that the question 'how do matter and energy behave? is a core question of modern physics. The community also accepts the question itself. Therefore, they can be said to accept physics as a discipline. The scientific community of the modern world also accepts that the question 'how do the positions of celestial objects at the time of one's birth influence one's character?' is a core question of astrology. However, they do not accept the question itself, because they reject its supposition that such an influence exists. Thus, the scientific community rejects the discipline of astrology.


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Questions About This Definition

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  1. a b  Patton, Paul and Al-Zayadi, Cyrus. (2021) Disciplines in the Scientonomic Ontology. Scientonomy 4, 59-85. Retrieved from
  2. ^  Friesen, Izzy and Patton, Paul. (2023) Discipline Dynamics of Chymistry and Rejection of Alchemy. Scientonomy 5, 93-110. Retrieved from
  3. ^  Barseghyan, Hakob. (2018) Redrafting the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 13-38. Retrieved from
  4. ^  Rawleigh, William. (2018) The Status of Questions in the Ontology of Scientific Change. Scientonomy 2, 1-12. Retrieved from
  5. ^  Patton, Paul. (2019) Epistemic Tools and Epistemic Agents in Scientonomy. Scientonomy 3, 63-89. Retrieved from