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theories


  1  definition  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Theory  \The"o*ry\,  n.;  pl  {Theories}.  [F.  th['e]orie,  L. 
  theoria,  Gr  ?  a  beholding,  spectacle,  contemplation, 
  speculation,  fr  ?  a  spectator,  ?  to  see  view.  See 
  {Theater}.] 
  1.  A  doctrine,  or  scheme  of  things  which  terminates  in 
  speculation  or  contemplation,  without  a  view  to  practice; 
  hypothesis;  speculation. 
 
  Note:  ``This  word  is  employed  by  English  writers  in  a  very 
  loose  and  improper  sense  It  is  with  them  usually 
  convertible  into  hypothesis,  and  hypothesis  is  commonly 
  used  as  another  term  for  conjecture.  The  terms  theory 
  and  theoretical  are  properly  used  in  opposition  to  the 
  terms  practice  and  practical.  In  this  sense  they  were 
  exclusively  employed  by  the  ancients;  and  in  this 
  sense  they  are  almost  exclusively  employed  by  the 
  Continental  philosophers.''  --Sir  W.  Hamilton. 
 
  2.  An  exposition  of  the  general  or  abstract  principles  of  any 
  science;  as  the  theory  of  music. 
 
  3.  The  science,  as  distinguished  from  the  art;  as  the  theory 
  and  practice  of  medicine. 
 
  4.  The  philosophical  explanation  of  phenomena,  either 
  physical  or  moral;  as  Lavoisier's  theory  of  combustion; 
  Adam  Smith's  theory  of  moral  sentiments. 
 
  {Atomic  theory},  {Binary  theory},  etc  See  under  {Atomic}, 
  {Binary},  etc 
 
  Syn:  Hypothesis,  speculation. 
 
  Usage:  {Theory},  {Hypothesis}.  A  theory  is  a  scheme  of  the 
  relations  subsisting  between  the  parts  of  a  systematic 
  whole;  an  hypothesis  is  a  tentative  conjecture 
  respecting  a  cause  of  phenomena. 




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