What is the scientific definition of theory


A theory is a system of statements. Theory is a set of logically linked, consistent hypotheses. It contains a number of independent statements or axioms from which further statements, namely laws and theorems, can be derived with the help of logical rules.

is a logically composed structure of statements. These statements are hypotheses. A theory arises either from the fact that more and more specific (and thus more detailed, closer to the application) statements are obtained from general ideas or by linking two or more statements, which also result in new statements. There are essentially four main demands placed on a theory: 1. General validity; should be given as far as possible, since a theory that is only valid at a certain time and only for certain areas (e.g. theory of costs in the North German textile industry in the 1960s) is not suitable for broader application. Nevertheless, general validity can never be fully established. 2. Logical deduction and linkage of the individual statements; Within the theory, these must be systematically linked, because the practitioner wants to see more precisely the connection between the problems to which the theory relates. 3. Inevitable or probable occurrence of the predictions; the user of a theory wants to know as precisely as possible whether an effect claimed by the theory under certain conditions will actually occur when the concrete problem arises. An inevitable consequence can usually not be predicted by the theory, but a certain probability of its occurrence can. 4. Proof of theory; the theory must be tested in practice by means of empirical research (theory as real theory). Otherwise it cannot be judged whether it is right or wrong. The term "theory" used in common parlance does not always correspond to a real theory.

In socialist economics: systematically ordered statements about an area of ​​objective reality or thought.

The most important components of a theory are the objective laws and principles of the field formulated in it. to which it relates. Theory is a broad area of ​​knowledge that describes and explains a totality of phenomena, provides us with knowledge about the real foundations of all developed theses, and reduces the laws discovered in the given area to a unified, unifying basis. The theory is contrasted with the practice. In the last instance, practice is the decisive criterion for the correctness or usefulness of a theory.

In economic sociology: Term with widely varying meanings: [1] In general, theory is a system of terms, definitions and statements that are used to organize the knowledge about a range of facts, to explain facts and to predict.

[2] In epistemological representations, e.g. in the context of critical rationalism, theory is often used synonymously with deductive theory.

[3] Theory as a theoretical frame of reference consists of a system of classifications with the help of which a certain area of ​​facts should be adequately covered. Such a system is offered by the theory of Parsons' theory.

[4] Often, theory is also understood to be an explanatory principle, a legal statement used in an explanation, or just a simple hypothesis about a certain context.

[5] Colloquial term for "thoughtful", not directly based on experience. In the epistemological discussion today, there is broad consensus that empirical sciences, including sociology, cannot work without theory, that all observations are based on explicit or implicit aspects in the form of assumptions and hypotheses. Among other things, it is disputed whether these T.n in the form of

[2] should be formulated.

Main information carrier of scientific knowledge; Linguistic system formulated with the help of a set of terms that is as uniform as possible, the core of which is formed by legal statements. Possible uses of (real scientific) theories are: (a) explanations of (individual and general) facts, (b) prognoses of events, (c) technologies for shaping or changing reality and (d) social and ideological criticism. Theories are also used to (e) test their own correctness and scope, and (f) produce new theories; because new theories often arise through criticism of already known theories. While (a), (e) and (f) are primarily aimed at internal scientific issues, (b), (c) and (d) primarily concern the practical use of theory formation. The talk that nothing is as practical as a good theory suggests close connections between cognitive and practical areas. In particular, it also draws attention to the relationship between the progress of knowledge and design. The formalization of theories leads to axiomatic-deductive systems (axiom). Theories can only produce the services mentioned if they have empirical content. Literature: Spinner, H. F., Theory, in: Handbuch philosophischer Grundbegriffe, Vol. 5, Munich 1974, p. 1486 ff. Schanz, G., Methodologie für Betriebswirte, 2nd edition, Stuttgart 1988, p. 23 ff.

Previous technical term: Theoretical constructs | Next technical term: Theory of functional income distribution

Report this article to the editors as incorrect and reserve it for editing