In the case of sciences, for example, can the birth of a new branch of science be considered as utterly "new"?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Conifold, Mark Andrews, virmaior, Swami Vishwananda, Jordan S Mar 10 '18 at 2:32

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  • One liner questions are typically too vague to permit reasonable answers, please provide more context and specifics of your thoughts on the subject, such as what "utterly new" and "depending on another piece of knowledge" mean. There is a sense in which everything depends on everything else so without better specification this is unanswerable or trivial. – Conifold Feb 11 '18 at 23:39
  • does this include prior information? – TheAutomaton Feb 12 '18 at 18:13

It depends on what you mean by 'can'. Logically, I suppose this is possible. There is no contradiction in saying 'X is a new branch of science and it is utterly new', i.e. without precedent or prefiguration in existing or previously existing science.

Historically and empirically, there are few or no absolute beginnings in science. One science emerges from another. I think this happens in two broadly different ways.

▻ Revolutions in a field of inquiry create new conceptual schemes

Think of physics. There is the physics of Aristotle, then the physics of Ptolemy, then the physics of Copernicus, then the physics of Newton, then of Einstein, then of quantum theory, now of string theory. In each case a conceptual revolution occurred that created in all but name a new science. And each revolution happened because of perceived defects in previous theories.

▻ Progressive refinement

What starts out as a gross, undifferentiated subject matter breaks down into sub-inquiries : in physics, for example, astronomy, dynamics, mechanics, optics, and any number of other fields progressively emerged. New fields of inquiry separated themselves as distinct groups of problems were recognised. But they all developed from existing inquiries.

▻ New combinations

Plainly the intersectional or bridge disciplines such as bio-chemistry, bio-physics, &c. could only emerge from pre-existing sciences.

  • @Selin Köksal. You have an answer to your question. – Geoffrey Thomas Feb 11 '18 at 14:03
  • Users are automatically notified when a new answer is posted to their question, there is no need for addressed comments. – Conifold Feb 12 '18 at 5:00
  • @Conifold. : versato in rebus cedo. – Geoffrey Thomas Feb 12 '18 at 6:08

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