What is Theory

What is Theory - Theory and Business421 Click to edit...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style 6/9/11 Theory  and Business 421
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6/9/11 What is Theory l The term  theory  has two broad sets of meanings —  one used in the empirical sciences (both natural and  social) and the other used in philosophy, mathematics,  logic, and across other fields in the humanities. 22
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6/9/11 What is Theory l Theories are distinct from  theorems : theorems are  derived deductively from theories according to a  formal system of rules, generally as a first step in  testing or applying the theory in a concrete situation.  l Theories are abstract and conceptual, and so they  really can’t be considered “right” or “wrong”.  33
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6/9/11 What is Theory l Rather, theories are supported or challenged by  observations in the world.  l They are “rigorously tentative”, meaning that they are  proposed as true but expected to satisfy careful  examination to account for the possibility of faulty  inference or incorrect observation.  44
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6/9/11 What is Theory l Sometimes theories are falsified, meaning that an  explicit set of observations contradicts some  fundamental assumption of the theory, but more often  theories are revised to conform to new observations,  by restricting the class of phenomena the theory  applies to or changing the assertions made.  55
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What is Theory l Sometimes a theory is set aside by scholars because  there is no way to examine its assertions analytically. l Such theories may continue on in the popular  imagination until some means of examination is found  which either refutes or lends credence to the theory. 66
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