“A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”–Chinese proverb

THEORY: a set of assumptions from which a set of empirical laws (or principles) may be derived.

Good theory leads to new knowledge, serves as a guide to new knowledge by suggesting testable hypotheses. (Theory does produce hypotheses.)

See: Germ theory, Atomic theory, Maslow’s Theory of need.

Theory: is a tool for inquiry; provides a general explanation for phenomena; provides a method of investigation; organizes logically by selecting facts; orders observations and experiences.


THEORY is what I learn; PRACTICE is what I do.

Properties of theory: generalizability, longevity, reliability, dynamic, adaptability, stimulating (for further knowledge), objectivity, useful (utilitarian), predictability, not true or false but useful or not.

Theory is difficult to define; it is even often difficult to have agreement on the concepts of the definitions.

Theory is not a law, but is a set of assumptions from which a set of empirical laws or principles may be derived–derived by purely logico-mathematical procedures.

Theory is a set of assumptions or generalizations supported by related philosophical assumptions and scientific principles.

Theories serve as a basis for PROJECTING hypotheses which suggest a course of action; the hypotheses are then subjected to scientific investigation; the findings are evaluated to validate NEW scientific principles and philosophical assumptions. [Theory in Action]

Theories tell us what facts to look for, select facts, allow (help) us to ask the right questions.

“Well, that’s all fine and good. But it’s just theoretical.”




Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: