Received view of theories

The received view of theories is a position in the philosophy of science that identifies a scientific theory with a set of propositions which are considered to be linguistic objects, such as axioms. Frederick Suppe describes the position of the received view by saying that it identifies scientific theories with an "axiomatic calculi in which theoretical terms are given a partial observation interpretation by mean of correspondence rules."[1] The received view is generally associated with the logical empiricists.

Recently, the received view of theories has been displaced by the semantic view of theories as the dominant position in theory formulation in the philosophy of science.[2][3][4]

Notes

  1. ^ Suppe, Frederick (1989). The Semantic Conception of Theories and Scientific Realism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. p. 38.
  2. ^ Suppe, Frederick (1998). "Understanding Scientific Theories: An Assessment of Developments, 1969-1998" (PDF). Philosophy of Science. 67: S102–S115. doi:10.1086/392812. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  3. ^ Halvorson, Hans (2012). "What Scientific Theories Could Not Be" (PDF). Philosophy of Science. 79 (2): 183–206. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.692.8455. doi:10.1086/664745. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  4. ^ Frigg, Roman (2006). "Scientific Representation and the Semantic View of Theories" (PDF). Theoria. The University of Chicago Press. 55 (2): 183–206. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
Commensurability (philosophy of science)

Commensurability is a concept in the philosophy of science whereby scientific theories are commensurable if scientists can discuss them using a shared nomenclature that allows direct comparison of theories to determine which theory is more valid or useful. On the other hand, theories are incommensurable if they are embedded in starkly contrasting conceptual frameworks whose languages do not overlap sufficiently to permit scientists to directly compare the theories or to cite empirical evidence favoring one theory over the other. Discussed by Ludwik Fleck in the 1930s, and popularized by Thomas Kuhn in the 1960s, the problem of incommensurability results in scientists talking past each other, as it were, while comparison of theories is muddled by confusions about terms, contexts and consequences.

Index of contemporary philosophy articles

This is a list of articles in contemporary philosophy.

1926 in philosophy

1962 in philosophy

20th-century philosophy

A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity

A New Refutation of Time

A. C. Grayling

A.P. Martinich

Abandonment (existentialism)

Abraham Edel

Abstract expressionism

Abstract labour and concrete labour

Accumulation by dispossession

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan

Alain Badiou

Alain de Benoist

Alain Etchegoyen

Alan Ross Anderson

Alan Soble

Alan Stout (philosopher)

Albert Camus

Albert Chernenko

Alberto Jori

Alberto Toscano

Albrecht Wellmer

Aldo Gargani

Alejandro Deustua

Alejandro Rozitchner

Alexander Bard

Alexandre Koyré

Alexandru Dragomir

Alexis Kagame

Alf Ross

Alfred Adler

Alfred I. Tauber

Alfred Jules Ayer

Alfred Jules Émile Fouillée

Alfred North Whitehead

Allan Bloom

Alvin Plantinga

Anarchism

Anarchism and anarcho-capitalism

Anarchism and Friedrich Nietzsche

Anarchism in Israel

Anarchism in Russia

Anarchism in Spain

Anarchism in Sweden

Anarchism in the United States

Anarchism in Turkey

Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas

Anarchist Studies

Anarcho-capitalism and minarchism

Anatoly Lunacharsky

Anders Nygren

André Malet (philosopher)

Andreas Speiser

Andrew Chignell

Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka

Anomalous monism

Anthony Gottlieb

Anti-consumerism

Anti-Dühring

Anti-Semite and Jew

Anti-statism

Antonio Caso Andrade

Antonio Gramsci

Antonio Negri

Arborescent

Arda Denkel

Aretaic turn

Armin Mohler

Arthur Danto

Artificial consciousness

Arvi Grotenfelt

Asa Kasher

Asiatic mode of production

Association for Logic, Language and Information

Attitude polarization

Aurel Kolnai

Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Avrum Stroll

Barrows Dunham

Bas van Fraassen

Base and superstructure

Being and Nothingness

Being in itself

Benedetto Croce

Berlin Circle

Bernard Bosanquet (philosopher)

Bernard Williams

Bert Mosselmans

Bertrand de Jouvenel

Between Past and Future

Black swan theory

Bob Hale (philosopher)

Boris Furlan

Boris Grushin

Bracha L. Ettinger

Bracketing (phenomenology)

Bronius Kuzmickas

Bryan Magee

Bureaucracy

C. D. Broad

C. S. Lewis

C. Stephen Evans

Capital accumulation

Capital, Volume I

Capitalist mode of production

Carl Gustav Hempel

Carlos Castrodeza

Ramsey sentence

Carveth Read

Categories (Peirce)

Charles Morris, Baron Morris of Grasmere

Charles Parsons (philosopher)

Charles Taylor (philosopher)

Chicago school (mathematical analysis)

Chinese room

Christine Buci-Glucksmann

Christoph Schrempf

Clarence Irving Lewis

Claude Lefort

Claude Lévi-Strauss

Claudio Canaparo

Clive Bell

Cognitive map

Colin Howson

Colin McGinn

Commodification

Commodity (Marxism)

Confirmation holism

Connexive logic

Consensual living

Constant capital

Constantin Noica

Consumption of fixed capital

Contemporary philosophy

Contemporary Political Theory

Contemporary Pragmatism

Contingency, irony, and solidarity

Contrast theory of meaning

Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)

Cora Diamond

Cornel West

Cornelius Castoriadis

Critical pedagogy

Criticism of capitalism

Criticism of postmodernism

Criticisms of electoralism

Critique of Cynical Reason

Critique of Dialectical Reason

Critiques of Slavoj Žižek

Curt John Ducasse

Czesław Znamierowski

Daniel Dennett

Daniel Rynhold

Dariush Shayegan

Das Argument (journal)

Dasein

David Benatar

David Braine (philosopher)

David Chalmers

David Cockburn

David Kellogg Lewis

David Oswald Thomas

David Pearce (philosopher)

David Prall

David S. Oderberg

David Schmidtz

David Wong (philosopher)

Dean Zimmerman

Degenerated workers' state

Deleuze and Guattari

Delfim Santos

Democracy in Marxism

Democratic Rationalization

Denis Dutton

Dermot Moran

Dewitt H. Parker

Dialectica

Dieter Henrich

Differential and Absolute Ground Rent

Dimitrije Mitrinović

Dimitris Dimitrakos

Diogenes (journal)

Doctrine of internal relations

Dominant ideology

Dominik Gross

Donald Burt

Donald Davidson (philosopher)

Dorothy Emmet

Doxastic logic

Dual power

Dudley Knowles

Eckart Schütrumpf

Edith Wyschogrod

Edmund Gettier

Edward Bullough

Elaine Scarry

Eleutherius Winance

Elliott Sober

Émile Durkheim

Émile Meyerson

Emotivism

Epistemological anarchism

Eric Higgs (philosopher)

Erich Fromm

Erkenntnis

Ernest Gellner

Ernesto Garzón Valdés

Ernst Cassirer

Ernst Ehrlich

Ernst Gombrich

Ernst Nolte

Erwin Panofsky

Erwin Schrödinger

Esperanza Guisán

Ethical problems using children in clinical trials

Ethics Bowl

Étienne Balibar

Étienne Borne

Étienne Souriau

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

Exchange value

Exploitation

Exploitation theory

F. C. S. Schiller

F. H. Bradley

Fact, Fiction, and Forecast

False consciousness

Falsifiability

Faux frais of production

Feng Youlan

Ferdinand Ebner

Fi Zilal al-Qur'an

Finance capitalism

Form of life (philosophy)

Francis Fukuyama

Frank R. Wallace

Frantz Fanon

Franz Rosenzweig

Fred Miller (philosopher)

Frederick C. Beiser

Frederick Copleston

Frederick Ferré

Frederick Suppe

Fredric Jameson

Freudo-Marxism

Friedrich Waismann

From Bakunin to Lacan

Future Primitive and Other Essays

G. E. M. Anscombe

Gabriel Nuchelmans

Gani Bobi

Gary Drescher

General intellect

Geneviève Fraisse

Geoffrey Hellman

Geoffrey Hunter (logician)

Georg Klaus

George Caffentzis

George Dickie (philosopher)

George Edward Moore

George H. Smith

George Santayana

Gettier problem

Gila Sher

Gilbert Harman

Giles Fraser

Gilles Deleuze

Giorgio Agamben

Giovanni Gentile

Giuseppe Peano

Gödel's ontological proof

Gopal Balakrishnan

Gordon Park Baker

Gottlob Frege

Graham Priest

Gray Dorsey

Gricean maxims

Günter Abel

Gustav Bergmann

Guy Debord

György Lukács

György Márkus

Hajime Tanabe

Han Yong-un

Hans-Georg Gadamer

Hans Hahn

Hans Lipps

Hans Reichenbach

Hans Sluga

Hao Wang (academic)

Harald K. Schjelderup

Hassan Kobeissi

Hegemony

Helen Longino

Hélène Cixous

Helene von Druskowitz

Henri Berr

Henri Lefebvre

Henry Corbin

Herbert Feigl

Herbert Marcuse

Heterophenomenology

Hilary Putnam

Historicity (philosophy)

History and Future of Justice

History of the Church–Turing thesis

Honorio Delgado

Hossein Ziai

Howard Adelman

Howison Lectures in Philosophy

Hubert Damisch

Hubert Dreyfus

Hugh Mellor

Humana.Mente – Journal of Philosophical Studies

Huston Smith

Hypothetico-deductive model

I Heart Huckabees

I. A. Richards

Ideal observer theory

Idealistic Studies

Ideology

Igor Pribac

Illtyd Trethowan

Imperialism

In Defense of Anarchism

Indeterminacy of translation

Indexicality

Individualist anarchism

Information processing

Institutional cruelty

Instrumental rationality

Integral (spirituality)

Integral ecology

International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

International Journal of Žižek Studies

International Philosophical Quarterly

Interpellation (philosophy)

Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy

Irving Copi

Irving Singer

Is God Dead?

Isaiah Berlin

Ivan Aguéli

Ivan Sviták

Jaap Kruithof

Jack Copeland

Jack Russell Weinstein

Jacques Derrida

Jacques Lacan

Jacques Maritain

Jacques Rancière

James DiGiovanna

James E. Faulconer

James Franklin (philosopher)

James G. Lennox

James Griffin (philosopher)

James Gustafson

James M. Edie

Jamie Whyte

Janet Coleman

Jason Walter Brown

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jean-François Lyotard

Jean-Luc Nancy

Jean-Marc Ferry

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean Baudrillard

Jean Clam

Jean Grenier

Jeff Malpas

Jens Staubrand

Jerry Fodor

Jerzy Perzanowski

Jesse Prinz

Jesús Mosterín

Joel J. Kupperman

Johannes Agnoli

John Corcoran (logician)

John Finnis

John Foster (philosopher)

John Greco (philosopher)

John Hospers

John Kekes

John L. Pollock

John McDowell

John N. Gray

John P. Burgess

John Rawls

John Searle

John von Neumann

John Weckert

John Wisdom

Jon Barwise

Jordi Pigem

José Ortega y Gasset

Josefina Ayerza

Joseph Beuys

Joseph de Torre

Joseph Henry Woodger

Joseph Hilbe

Joseph J. Spengler

Joseph Margolis

Joseph Runzo

Josiah Royce

Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics

Journal of Logic, Language and Information

Journal of Philosophical Logic

Juan Manuel Guillén

Judith Butler

Juha Varto

Julia Kristeva

Jürgen Habermas

Jürgen Mittelstraß

Kancha Ilaiah

Kang Youwei

Karen J. Warren

Karl Ameriks

Karl Jaspers

Karl Loewenstein

Karl Menger

Karl Popper

Katarzyna Jaszczolt

Keiji Nishitani

Kit Fine

Konstantin Chkheidze

Konstanty Michalski

Krastyo Krastev

Krishna Chandra Bhattacharya

Kurt Almqvist

Kurt Baier

Kurt Gödel

Kurt Grelling

Kyle Stanford

L'existentialisme est un humanisme

Labor aristocracy

Lacan at the Scene

Larry Sanger

Latitudinarianism (philosophy)

Laughter (Bergson)

Laurence BonJour

Law of accumulation

Law of value

Lawrence Jarach

Leo Mikhailovich Lopatin

Leo Strauss

Leonardo Moledo

Leonidas Donskis

Les jeux sont faits

Lev Chernyi

Lewis Call

Lewis White Beck

Lila: An Inquiry into Morals

Linguistics and Philosophy

List of contributors to Marxist theory

Listen, Anarchist!

Ljubomir Cuculovski

Logic of information

Logica Universalis

Logical holism

Logical positivism

Logicomix

Logocentrism

Lorenzo Peña

Louis Althusser

Louis Pojman

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer

Luxemburgism

Lwow-Warsaw School of Logic

Lynn Pasquerella

Mao Zedong

Marek Siemek

Mario Bunge

Mark Addis

Mark de Bretton Platts

Mark Philp

Mark Sacks

Mark Vernon

Mark Wrathall

Marshall McLuhan

Martha Nussbaum

Martin Buber

Martin Heidegger

Martin Hollis (philosopher)

Marvin Minsky

Marx W. Wartofsky

Masakazu Nakai

Maurice Blanchot

Maurice De Wulf

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Mauricio Suarez

Maxence Caron

Meera Nanda

Mental representation

Mereological nihilism

Michael Oakeshott

Michael Tye (philosopher)

Michel Foucault

Michel Foucault bibliography

Michel Onfray

Michel Serres

Milan Damnjanović (philosopher)

Minimum programme

Mirror stage

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Monroe Beardsley

Moritz Geiger

Moritz Schlick

Morris Weitz

Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei

Murray Rothbard

Myth of Progress

Narhar Ambadas Kurundkar

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nathan Salmon

National-Anarchism

Nationalism and Culture

Ned Block

Nelson Goodman

Neocolonial Dependence

Neurophilosophy

New Foundations

New Libertarian Manifesto

New Sincerity

New Times (politics)

Nicholas Rescher

Nick Bostrom

Nicola Abbagnano

Nietzsche and Philosophy

Nina Karin Monsen

Noël Carroll

Non-politics

Non-voting

Norbert Bolz

Norbert Leser

Norman Malcolm

Norman Swartz

Norwood Russell Hanson

Notes on "Camp"

Now and After

Objet petit a

Oets Kolk Bouwsma

Okishio's theorem

Olaf Helmer

Olavo de Carvalho

Olga Hahn-Neurath

On Certainty

On Contradiction (Mao Zedong)

On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems

OntoClean

Organic composition of capital

Oriental despotism

Original proof of Gödel's completeness theorem

Orlando J. Smith

Orthodox Trotskyism

Osvaldo Lira

Otto Bauer

Otto Neurath

Outline of anarchism

Overproduction

Oxford Literary Review

P. F. Strawson

Panait Cerna

Parametric determinism

Patricia Churchland

Paul Churchland

Paul de Man

Paul Grice

Paul Guyer

Paul Häberlin

Paul R. Patton

Paul Ricœur

Paul Virilio

Paulo Freire

Penelope Maddy

Per Bauhn

Per Martin-Löf

Periyar E. V. Ramasamy

Permanent war economy

Peter Caws

Peter Geach

Peter Hacker

Peter Millican

Peter Simons

Peter Singer

Peter Steinberger

Peter Stillman (academic)

Philip Hallie

Philipp Frank

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe

Philippe Nys

Phillip Cary

Philosophical interpretation of classical physics

Philosophical Investigations

Philosophical Investigations (journal)

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Philosophy and Real Politics

Philosophy and Social Hope

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature

Philosophy in a New Key

Philosophy of artificial intelligence

Philosophy of dialogue

Philosophy of engineering

Philosophy of information

Philosophy of technology

Philotheus Boehner

Pieranna Garavaso

Pierre Bourdieu

Pierre Boutang

Piotr Chmielowski

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Pirsig's metaphysics of Quality

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar

Polish Logic

Popper's experiment

Post-anarchism

Post-colonial anarchism

Post-industrial society

Post-left anarchy

Post-Scarcity Anarchism

Post-structuralism

Postanalytic philosophy

Postmodern Christianity

Postmodern social construction of nature

Postmodernism

Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

Pragmatic maxim

Praxis School

Prefigurative politics

Preintuitionism

Prices of production

Principia Ethica

Principia Mathematica

Productive forces

Proletarian internationalism

Proletarianization

Psychical distance

Psychoanalysis and Religion

R. G. Collingwood

Rabindranath Tagore

Rachida Triki

Radical interpretation

Radical translation

Rado Riha

Ralph Johnson (philosopher)

Ralph Tyler Flewelling

Ramón Xirau

Randolph Clarke

Ranjana Khanna

Raphaël Enthoven

Rate of profit

Raymond Aron

Raymond Smullyan

Re.press

Reading Capital

Received view of theories

Recuperation (sociology)

Reflective disclosure

Reformism

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Religious interpretations of the Big Bang theory

Ren Jiyu

Rentier capitalism

Repressive hypothesis

Reproduction (economics)

Richard A. Macksey

Richard Rorty

Richard Schacht

Richard Tarnas

Richard von Mises

Richard Wollheim

Robert Audi

Robert Brandom

Robert Nozick

Robert Rowland Smith

Robert Stalnaker

Roberto Refinetti

Rodolfo Mondolfo

Roger Caillois

Roger Scruton

Roland Barthes

Rolf Sattler

Romanas Plečkaitis

Ronald Dworkin

Rosa Luxemburg

Rose Rand

Rüdiger Safranski

Rudolf Carnap

Rudolf Schottlaender

Ruling class

Rupert Read

Ruth Barcan Marcus

Ryle's regress

Saint Genet

Sakae Osugi

Samuel Maximilian Rieser

Sanjaya Belatthaputta

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sathya Sai Baba

Saul Kripke

Sayyid al-Qimni

Scientific essentialism

Search for a Method

Semantic view of theories

Semeiotic

Sergio Panunzio

Simon Blackburn

Simple commodity production

Six Myths about the Good Life

Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions

Slavoj Žižek

Social conflict theory

Social ecology

Socially necessary labour time

South Park and Philosophy: You Know, I Learned Something Today

Spomenka Hribar

Sri Aurobindo

Stanisław Leśniewski

Stanley Sfekas

State monopoly capitalism

Stefan Pawlicki

Stephen David Ross

Stephen Laurence

Stephen Mulhall

Stephen Pepper

Stephen Toulmin

Steven Tainer

Stewart Shapiro

Subject of labor

Sun Yat-sen

Superprofit

Surplus product

Surplus value

Susan Haack

Susan Oyama

Susan Sontag

Susan Stebbing

Syed Ali Abbas Jallapuri

Tadeusz Kotarbiński

Taha Abdurrahman

Takiyyetin Mengüşoğlu

Tasos Zembylas

Technological determinism

Technological Somnambulism

Temporal single-system interpretation

Tendency of the rate of profit to fall

The Absence of the Book

The Birth of the Clinic

The Bounds of Sense

The Case for God

The Imaginary (Sartre)

The Logic of Scientific Discovery

The Myth of Sisyphus

The Philosophical Forum

The Royal Way

The Seminars of Jacques Lacan

The Sublime Object of Ideology

The Transcendence of the Ego

Theodor Lipps

Thierry de Duve

Third camp

Thomas Munro

Thomas Nagel

Thomas Samuel Kuhn

Thoralf Skolem

Three Worlds Theory

Tim Dean

Tom Polger

Tomonubu Imamichi

Tore Nordenstam

Toronto School of communication theory

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Transformation problem

Transitional demand

Two Dogmas of Empiricism

Type physicalism

Ugo Spirito

Ultra-imperialism

Underconsumption

Unequal exchange

Universal class

Uri Gordon

Ursula Wolf

Use value

Vale (author)

Valentin Ferdinandovich Asmus

Valorisation

Value added

Value product

Vanja Sutlić

Varadaraja V. Raman

Verification theory

Verificationism

Vianney Décarie

Victor Kraft

Vienna Circle

Vincent F. Hendricks

Vittorio Hösle

Vojin Rakic

W. D. Ross

Wage labour

Walter Berns

Walter Terence Stace

Warren Shibles

Wendell Berry

Werner Hamacher

Werner Heisenberg

Werner Krieglstein

What Is Literature?

What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

Whitny Braun

Why I Am Not a Christian

Wilfrid Sellars

Willard Van Orman Quine

Willem B. Drees

William Craig (philosopher)

William Fontaine

William Irwin Thompson

William James Lectures

William Kneale

William L. Rowe

William McNeill (philosopher)

William W. Tait

Władysław Mieczysław Kozłowski

Władysław Weryho

Wolfgang Smith

Wolfgang Stegmüller

Word and Object

Workerism

World communism

Xu Liangying

Yujian Zheng

Yves Brunsvick

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zeno Vendler

Zofia Zdybicka

Zollikon Seminars

Index of philosophy of science articles

An index list of articles about the philosophy of science.

Outline of philosophy

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to philosophy:

Philosophy – study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing fundamental questions (such as mysticism, myth, or religion) by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. The word "Philosophy" comes from the Greek philosophia (φιλοσοφία), which literally means "love of wisdom".

Scientific theory

A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method, using accepted protocols of observation, measurement, and evaluation of results. Where possible, theories are tested under controlled conditions in an experiment. In circumstances not amenable to experimental testing, theories are evaluated through principles of abductive reasoning. Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and embody scientific knowledge.The meaning of the term scientific theory (often contracted to theory for brevity) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from the common vernacular usage of theory. In everyday speech, theory can imply an explanation that represents an unsubstantiated and speculative guess, whereas in science it describes an explanation that has been tested and widely accepted as valid. These different usages are comparable to the opposing usages of prediction in science versus common speech, where it denotes a mere hope.

The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain and its simplicity. As additional scientific evidence is gathered, a scientific theory may be modified and ultimately rejected if it cannot be made to fit the new findings; in such circumstances, a more accurate theory is then required. That doesn’t mean that all theories can be fundamentally changed (for example, well established foundational scientific theories such as evolution, heliocentric theory, cell theory, theory of plate tectonics etc). In certain cases, the less-accurate unmodified scientific theory can still be treated as a theory if it is useful (due to its sheer simplicity) as an approximation under specific conditions. A case in point is Newton's laws of motion, which can serve as an approximation to special relativity at velocities that are small relative to the speed of light.

Scientific theories are testable and make falsifiable predictions. They describe the causes of a particular natural phenomenon and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or specific areas of inquiry (for example, electricity, chemistry, and astronomy). Scientists use theories to further scientific knowledge, as well as to facilitate advances in technology or medicine.

As with other forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are both deductive and inductive, aiming for predictive and explanatory power.

The paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote that "...facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts."

Semantic view of theories

The semantic view of theories is a position in the philosophy of science that holds that a scientific theory can be identified with a collection of models. The semantic view of theories was originally proposed by Patrick Suppes in “A Comparison of the Meaning and Uses of Models in Mathematics and the Empirical Sciences” as a reaction against the received view of theories popular among the logical positivists. Many varieties of the semantic view propose identifying theories with a class of set-theoretic models in the Tarskian sense, while others specify models in the mathematical language stipulated by the field of which the theory is a member.

Theory

A theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking. Depending on the context, the results might, for example, include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several related meanings.

Theories guide the enterprise of finding facts rather than of reaching goals, and are neutral concerning alternatives among values. A theory can be a body of knowledge, which may or may not be associated with particular explanatory models. To theorize is to develop this body of knowledge.As already in Aristotle's definitions, theory is very often contrasted to "practice" (from Greek praxis, πρᾶξις) a Greek term for doing, which is opposed to theory because pure theory involves no doing apart from itself. A classical example of the distinction between "theoretical" and "practical" uses the discipline of medicine: medical theory involves trying to understand the causes and nature of health and sickness, while the practical side of medicine is trying to make people healthy. These two things are related but can be independent, because it is possible to research health and sickness without curing specific patients, and it is possible to cure a patient without knowing how the cure worked.In modern science, the term "theory" refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that scientific tests should be able to provide empirical support for, or empirically contradict ("falsify") it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge, in contrast to more common uses of the word "theory" that imply that something is unproven or speculative (which in formal terms is better characterized by the word hypothesis). Scientific theories are distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and from scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of the way nature behaves under certain conditions.

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