Theory is The meaning of the word "theory"

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Theory is The meaning of the word "theory"
Theory is The meaning of the word "theory"

All modern science has developed from assumptions that initially seemed mythical and implausible. But over time, having accumulated reasoned evidence, these assumptions have become a socially recognized truth. And so theories arose on which all scientific knowledge of mankind is based. But what is the meaning of the word "theory"? You will learn the answer to this question from our article.

Definition of concept

There are many definitions of this term. But the optimal ones are those that are used by the scientific environment. Such definitions are taken as a basis.

Theory is a certain system of representations in a given field of knowledge, which gives a holistic view of the existing patterns associated with reality.

theory is

There is a more complex definition. A theory is a set of ideas that are closed with respect to rational following. It is this abstract definition of the term "theory" that logic gives. From the point of view of this scienceany idea can be called a theory.

Typology of scientific theories

For a more accurate understanding of the essence of scientific theories, one should refer to their classification. Methodologists and philosophers of science distinguish three main types of scientific theories. Consider them separately.

Empirical theories

Empirical theories are traditionally considered the first type. Examples are Pavlov's physiological theory, Darwin's evolutionary theory, developmental theory, psychological and linguistic theories. They are based on a huge mass of experimental facts and explain a certain group of phenomena.

meaning of the word theory

Based on these phenomena, generalizations are formulated, and as a result, laws that become the basis on which the theory is built. This is true for other types of theories as well. But the theory of the empirical type is formulated as a result of a descriptive and generalized nature, without observing all logical rules.

Mathematical theories

Mathematical scientific theories constitute the second type of theories in this classification. Their characteristic feature is the use of mathematical apparatus and mathematical models. In such theories, a special mathematical model is created, which is a kind of ideal object that can replace a real object. A striking example of this type are logical theories, theories of elementary particle physics, control theory and many others. As a rule, they are based on the axiomatic method. That is, on the derivation of the main provisions of the theory from severalbasic axioms. The fundamental axioms must necessarily meet the criteria of objectivity and not contradict each other.

Deductive theoretical systems

The third type of scientific theories are deductive theoretical systems. They appeared due to the task of rationally comprehending and substantiating mathematics. The first deductive theory is considered to be the geometry of Euclid, which was built using the axiomatic method. Deductive theories are built on the basis of the formulation of the main provisions and the subsequent inclusion in the theory of those statements that can be obtained as a result of logical conclusions from the initial provisions. All logical conclusions and means that are used in the theory are clearly recorded in order to form an evidence base.

management theory

As a rule, deductive theories are very general and abstract, so the question of their interpretation often arises. A striking example is the theory of natural law. This is a theory that cannot be unambiguously assessed, therefore it is interpreted in different ways.

Philosophy and scientific theory: how do they relate?

In scientific knowledge, a special, but at the same time specific role is assigned to philosophy. It is said that scientists, formulating and comprehending certain theories, rise to the level of not only understanding a specific scientific problem, but also understanding being and the very essence of knowledge. And this, of course, is a philosophy.

developmental theory

So the question arises. How philosophy influences the constructionscientific theory? The answer is quite simple, since these processes are inextricably linked. Philosophy is present in scientific theory in the form of logical laws, methodology, in the form of a general picture of the world and its understanding, the worldview of a scientist and all fundamental scientific foundations. In this context, philosophy is both the source and the ultimate goal of constructing most scientific theories. Not even scientific, but organizational theories (for example, management theory) are not without a philosophical basis.

Theory and experiment

The most important method of empirical confirmation of a theory is an experiment, which must necessarily include measurement and observation, as well as many other methods of influencing the object or group of objects under study.

Experiment is a certain material impact on the object under study or on the conditions that surround it, which are produced in order to further study this object. Theory is what precedes experiment.

fundamentals of the theory

In a scientific experiment, it is customary to single out several elements;

  • ultimate goal of the experiment;
  • object to be studied;
  • conditions in which this object is located;
  • means for experiment behavior;
  • material impact on the object under study.

With the help of each individual element, you can build a classification of experiments. According to this statement, it is possible to distinguish between physical, biological, chemical experiments, depending on the object on which it is carried out. Alsoexperiments can be classified according to the goals that are pursued during their conduct.

The purpose of the experiment is to discover and comprehend some patterns or facts. This type of experiment is called exploratory. The result of this experiment can be considered the expansion of data about the object under study. But in most cases, such an experiment is carried out to confirm a particular hypothesis or the basis of a theory. This type of experiment is called verification. As you know, it is impossible to draw a fairly clear line between these two species. One and the same experience can be set within the framework of two types of experiment, or with the help of one you can find out data that are characteristic of the other. Modern science is based on these two principles.

natural law theory

Experiment is always a kind of question of nature. But it must always be meaningful and based on prior knowledge in order to get a decent answer. It is precisely this knowledge that theory provides, it is precisely this knowledge that poses questions. Initially, the theory exists in the form of abstract, idealized objects, and then there is a process of testing it for validity.

Thus, we have considered the meaning of the word "theory", its typologies, related connections with sciences and practice. We can safely say that there is nothing more practical than a good theory.

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