The Status of Technological Knowledge in the Scientific Mosaic

Maxim Mirkin
2018 Scientonomy  
In this paper, I argue that there is accepted propositional technological knowledge which appears to exhibit the same patterns of change as questions, theories, and methods in the natural, social, and formal sciences. I show that technological theories attempting to describe the construction and operation of artifacts as well as to prescribe their correct mode of operation are not merely used, but also often accepted by epistemic agents. Since technology often involves methods different from
more » ... se found in science and produces normative propositions, many of which remain tacit, one may be tempted to think that changes in technological knowledge should be somehow exempt from the laws of scientific change. Indeed, it seems tacitly accepted in the scientonomic community that, while scientific communities clearly accept theories, technological communities merely use them. As a result, scientonomy currently deals with natural, social, and formal sciences, and the status of technological knowledge within the scientonomic ontology remains unclear. To help elucidate the topic, I propose that the historical cases of sorting algorithms, telescopes, crop rotation, and colorectal cancer surgeries confirm that technological theories and methods are often an integral part of an epistemic agent's mosaic and seem to exhibit the same scientonomic patterns of change typical of accepted theories therein. Thus, I suggest that propositional technological knowledge can be part of a mosaic. Suggested Modifications [Sciento-2018-0011]: Accept the three-fold distinction between explicit, explicable-implicit, and inexplicable with the following definitions: Explicit ≡ propositional knowledge that has been openly formulated by the agent. Explicable-Implicit ≡ propositional knowledge that hasn't been openly formulated by the agent. Inexplicable ≡ non-propositional knowledge, i.e. knowledge that cannot, even in principle, be formulated as a set of propositions. Also accept the following definition of implicit: Implicit ≡ not explicit. [Sciento-2018-0012]: Accept that propositional technological knowledge – i.e. technological questions, theories, and methods – can be part of a mosaic. Also accept the following questions as legitimate topics of scientonomic inquiry: History of Technological Mosaics: What technological theories were accepted and what technological methods were employed by different epistemic agents at different time periods? The Status of Inexplicable Knowledge: Is there such a thing as inexplicable knowledge? Typology of Technological Knowledge: What types of technological knowledge are there?
doi:10.33137/js.v2i0.29645 fatcat:7gzgyplrbjep7pio4tnlqhnx5q