Theory FAQs:

Q: Is theory a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking?

A: Yes, and or the results of such thinking.

Q: Are theories a specific category of models which fulfill the necessary criteria?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories described in such a way that any scientist in the field is in a position to understand and either provide empirical support or empirically contradict it?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory syntactic in nature and is only meaningful when given a semantic component by applying it to some content?

A: Yes, Theories in various fields of study are expressed in natural language, but are always constructed in such a way that their general form is identical to a theory as it is expressed in the formal language of mathematical logic.

Q: Is theory a thoughtful and rational explanation of the general nature of things?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories incorrect?

A: Yes, and meaning that an explicit set of observations contradicts some fundamental objection or application of the theory, but more often theories are corrected to conform to new observations, by restricting the class of phenomena the theory applies to or changing the assertions made.

Q: Are theories improved as more evidence is gathered, so that accuracy in prediction improves over time?

A: Yes, this increased accuracy corresponds to an increase in scientific knowledge.

Q: Are theories studied in mathematics?

A: Yes, and they are usually expressed in some formal language and their statements are closed under application of certain procedures called rules of inference.

Q: Is theory underdetermined if?

A: Yes, and given the available evidence cited to support the theory, there is a rival theory which is inconsistent with it that is at least as consistent with the evidence.

Q: Are theories viewed as scientific models?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory called metatheorems?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory contrasted with praxis or practice?

A: Yes, and which remains the case today.

Q: Are theories abstract and conceptual?

A: Yes, and to this end they are always considered true.

Q: Is theory statements whose truth cannot necessarily be scientifically tested through empirical observation?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory constructed of a set of sentences which consists entirely of true statements about the subject matter under consideration?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory very often contrasted to "practice" a Greek term for "doing"?

A: Yes, and which is opposed to theory because pure theory involves no doing apart from itself.

Q: Is theory a metatheory or meta-theory?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories studied formally in mathematical logic?

A: Yes, and especially in model theory.

Q: Is theory an ethical theory about the law and government?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories distinct from theorems?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory generally used for a mathematical framework—derived from a small set of basic postulates —which is capable of producing experimental predictions for a given category of physical systems?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory also of the same form?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory not the same as a hypothesis?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain?

A: Yes, and which is measured by its ability to make falsifiable predictions with respect to those phenomena.

Q: Was theory derived from a technical term in philosophy in Ancient Greek?

A: Yes.

Q: Are theories called indistinguishable or observationally equivalent?

A: Yes, and the choice between them reduces to convenience or philosophical preference.

Q: Is theory termed "laws of electromagnetism"?

A: Yes, and reflecting the level of consistent and reproducible evidence that supports them.

Q: Are theories analytical tools for understanding?

A: Yes, and explaining, and making predictions about a given subject matter.

Q: Are theories 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?

A: Yes, Scientific theories are distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of how nature will behave under certain conditions.

Q: Is theory a theory whose subject matter is some other theory?

A: Yes.

Q: Is theory a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world?

A: Yes, and based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.