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Questions tagged [theory]

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0 votes
6 answers
136 views

What types of observations necessitate postulating more complex theories without violating Occam's Razor?

This question is inspired by the related question How could both Occam's Razor and complex theories like Quantum Mechanics be correct at the same time?. The accepted answer reasonably argues: The ...
user avatar
1 vote
6 answers
119 views

Is it possible to find the opposite of any given "thing"

Premise 1: A "thing" is something that can be described with properties (this is just for clarification it includes everything there is) Premise 2: There are no two "things" with ...
M.B.'s user avatar
  • 27
2 votes
0 answers
41 views

If there was a theory that explains every event, would it be valid to ask why it is the way it is?

Suppose we had a theory of everything that explained every single contingency within the universe. Or in other words, it explained why one alternative occurs instead of another within the universe. ...
user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
69 views

What information should be turned into theory? [closed]

I want to have a theory-based approach to knowledge.  I know that all a priori judgments alone should not be turned into theories since their truth is independent of experience and empirical evidence, ...
Neo Granicen's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
163 views

Model vs Theory: Meanings reversed in Alfred Tarski vs Julian Jaynes?

In my reading of Alfred Tarski's model theory, a theory is a formal system whose sentences are without inherent meaning, but which becomes meaningful (e.g. having truth values) only after a model ...
James Bowery's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
193 views

Hypothesis generation & the structure of scientific theories: how (exactly) do theories constrain hypothesis generation?

How (exactly) do theories constrain the generation of various, potential hypotheses to explain something? In particular, what are the different implications of different accounts of the structure of ...
Turtur's user avatar
  • 348
2 votes
4 answers
113 views

How does one “measure” the plausibility of theories with no direct evidence?

Let’s take the event of a leaf falling down from a branch. Currently, we have a fully naturalistic explanation for how this happens. Theoretically though, one can come up with an infinite number of ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
135 views

On thermodynamics being fundamental?

Are there philosophers who argue that thermodynamics (where time does have a direction) is the more fundamental theory as opposed to normal Newtonian mechanics and it's extensions? For example, I can ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
12 votes
8 answers
3k views

Is there a general theory of intelligence and design that would allow us to detect the presence of design in an object based solely on its properties?

There are many candidates for what could be considered to be an intelligent agent. Examples include humans, animals, aliens, AI (e.g. ChatGPT?), and supernaturalists would probably add angels, deities,...
user avatar
23 votes
11 answers
5k views

Isn't every theory or model wrong?

I'm currently in class 12 and I was about different models of atoms in my school chemistry book and there were like 3 or 4 atomic models Rutherford's model, Thompson's model , Bohr's model then ...
Shardul's user avatar
  • 387
0 votes
1 answer
97 views

Are conspiracy theories evil? [closed]

Suppose that everyone I encounter is conspiring to keep the truth of something (mostly for money) from me by a mixture of deception, lies and perhaps outright stupidity/gullibility (that is soon ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

What is (or should be) the logical structure of a demarcation argument?

I am working on a scholarly article that attempts to define "theory" in my scholarly field, which is a social science. (My field is information systems, mainly a hybrid between information ...
Tripartio's user avatar
  • 113
2 votes
3 answers
465 views

What is Meant by a Pre-Theoretic Notion?

I don't quite understand the explanation given on Wikipedia for Pre-theoretic belief. It is often assumed, rightly or wrongly, that language depends on mental concepts, and that certain concepts are ...
Luca's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
3 answers
505 views

The Principle of Least Action as a Theory of Everything?

Theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder views the Principle of Least Action as " the closest thing we have to a theory of everything." It works in classical physics as well as in quantum ...
Paul S.'s user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
5 answers
125 views

Devising mathematical or quantitative theories of meaning

Around 1948, the mathematician and electrical engineer Claude E. Shannon presented work that would eventually lead to information theory. A mathematical theory based on uncertainty and probability, ...
Davius's user avatar
  • 680
1 vote
3 answers
110 views

A word that encapsulates the strongest aspects of "model" and "theory" (and perhaps "hypothesis")?

I saw What is the difference between a "model" and a "theory"?, where it says, like Wikipedia says, that a scientific theory is a well-tested and thoroughly researched explanation ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 237
2 votes
0 answers
127 views

How does Yablo's paradox affect the theory of truth?

Question: What does Yablo's paradox tell us about what a theory of truth should look like? I have been reading Leitgeb's What Theories of Truth Should be Like, and he discusses what a 'good' theory of ...
Constantly confused's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
699 views

What are the missing pieces that prevents us from deriving the laws of chemistry from physics?

What are the missing pieces that prevents us from deriving the laws of chemistry from physics? People say it's emergent properties, but it's hard to believe that there are emergent properties between ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 4,249
1 vote
3 answers
171 views

Which philosophers and philosophies discuss "worldview epistemologies"?

A lot of theologians and religious thinkers advance the idea that in order for any position to have meaning in epistemology or ethics or metaphysics it is necessary to interpret reality through some ...
Rageforthemachine 's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
894 views

What is the most unique type of philosophy someone can naturally develop?

A couple of days ago I read about metaphysics. Because I recognised this type of philosophical activity in someone and searched it up. This person has developed it's philosophy without studying ...
Allart's user avatar
  • 262
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Science, where is the difference between law and principle?

Theories contain laws, definitions, explain and predict aspects of nature. A law in itself does not explain, but only reflects cause-effect relationships of empirical data (usually in the form of a ...
iwab's user avatar
  • 169
0 votes
0 answers
113 views

How philosophers reason about closeness of one theory to the other theory (approximation, learnability, discovery of theory)?

Some theory is tuple of set of axioms (including ones that are statements about data), set of inference rules and set of already deduced theorems (statements) in it. Theory can be discovered by human ...
TomR's user avatar
  • 179
2 votes
5 answers
268 views

Liberation in Buddhism

Since Buddhism denies the existence of the soul, in the theory of no-self, what is liberation or nirvana in Buddhism? Who attains nirvana? Who experiences cessation of suffering?
George carlin's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
179 views

Metaphilosophy and the nature of philosophical disagreement

I have a question on how “disagreement” generally occurs in philosophy. It seems that in the various traditions of Western philosophy, much work concerns a quest to externalize our human intuitions, i....
exp8j's user avatar
  • 341
1 vote
2 answers
140 views

What is it called when two theories ultimately become one theory in science?

I am trying to think of an example of scientific explanation whose scope was in fact broader than we initially thought. The idea would be the following: Initially, we used H (the explanation) to ...
J D's user avatar
  • 29.1k
1 vote
3 answers
127 views

Are there examples of the narrowing scope of scientific explanations?

I am trying to think of an example of scientific explanation whose scope was in fact more limited than we initially thought. The idea would be the following: Initially, we used H (the explanation) to ...
Philo102's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

If multiple hypotheses can explain the same set of facts, is it possible to tell which one is ultimately true? [duplicate]

Given a set of observable facts, let's suppose that there are multiple hypotheses compatible with those facts that can explain them. Is there any way to tell which one of these hypotheses is ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
244 views

Why is a well-understood theory easier to understand, and does this answer the question "Why is older philosophy 'easier' to understand"?

I know the question sounds weird, so I'll bring an example coming from my field: mathematics. One of the greatest mathematicians of all time is Gauss. One of his results is the "Remarkable ...
rod's user avatar
  • 249
0 votes
0 answers
154 views

Theory of Everything: simple but repetitive or complicated by efficient?

Which of the following criteria is more persuasive for choosing a Theory Of Everything: A very simple theory that requires an enormous amount of calculation to compute the universe (e.g. 10^(10^(10^(....
Juggernaut's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
147 views

Did the later Kuhn write that when he said "theory" he meant "disciplinary matrix"/"paradigm"?

In his later writings (from 1969 on), Thomas Kuhn stopped talking about "paradigms" or "disciplinary matrixes" and started talking about "theories" instead. Some Kuhnians ...
Philosopher of science's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
152 views

Why do we call "A or B Theories of Time" instead of "A or B Hypotheses of Time"?

Why do we call "A or B Theories of Time" instead of "A or B Hypotheses of Time" when the concepts are not yet proven by empirical evidence? We know, hypothesis: a supposition or ...
Sazzad Hissain Khan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Truth-value injection in quasi-empirical theoriess

While reading about quasi-empiricism I have encountered the following statement: "Thus the logical channels of theories are not downward transmission of truth but for upward re-transmission of ...
m4linka's user avatar
  • 103
1 vote
4 answers
235 views

Does good chess strategy reduce to the rules of the game?

I've been trying to understand what is meant by words like reduction and reductionism in different contexts. Being somewhat scientifically minded, I enthusiastically embrace reduction as a strategy ...
Willie Betmore's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
373 views

Are there two types of scientific theories (one materialistic and one mathematical)?

Until recently, I was assured, for years, that there is only one way for a theory to be "scientific" (my definition): An hypothesis to solve a defined practical problem, which must be falsifiable;A ...
user avatar
2 votes
7 answers
515 views

The passing of time

Did the passing of time come before everything else? As in, how long was there "nothing"? And if we can put a time on that, wouldn't time itself be something? And if so, is time the thing that "...
Krisuss's user avatar
  • 39
-1 votes
1 answer
41 views

Is there a theory which says that friendships determine the quality of your Philosophy? [closed]

Is there a theory which says that friendships determine the quality of your Philosophy? How have your friendships shaped the quality of your philosophical life?
Daniel Tan's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
103 views

The needs of many (in 'ok' circumstances) vs. the needs of few (in 'extreme' circumstances)

I am writing about decision making when allocating charity resources, and I need a bit of background on deciding between improving lots of lives for animals with, let's say, average welfare (that ...
Lau99's user avatar
  • 31
1 vote
1 answer
221 views

Is knowledge possible without theory?

Knowledge in the "hard sciences" seems to depend entirely on attested facts upon which a theory is built, the goal of which is to imagine the most plausible none-attested facts (which are in truth no ...
Gloserio's user avatar
  • 275
3 votes
2 answers
151 views

Testing scientific theories inside a simulated universe

The background of my question relies on the following points. Quine-Duhem thesis: it is difficult to test a theory with an experiment, because the test would rely on other theories. The discussion of ...
Doriano Brogioli's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
151 views

Books on the logic of science

I was recently skimming through Nagels "The Structure of Science", and I wonder if there are other books that go through the philosophy of science through a logical point of view; That is, I am ...
Avatrin's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
147 views

Why cannot the following theory be refuted by logic but is rejected because of lack of empirical support?

The following statements are taken from a book: The man in the street, and also the philosopher K. Marbe, believe that after a run of seventeen heads tail becomes more probable. This argument has ...
Turkhan Badalov's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
819 views

Can a solid theory ever exist without any axioms?

In math, numbers and addition are logically defined by Zermelo Set Theory, a small group of axioms upon which everything else can be built. Could it be possible to have a working theory, (in any field ...
user189728's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
237 views

Theory of Chaos

One example given by my philosophy teacher in highschool to explain the chaos theory was this : Take this sequence of numbers : 1, 2, 4, 8, 6, 2, 4, 8, 6, ... Built following these rules : Take ...
toto's user avatar
  • 109
6 votes
9 answers
338 views

One big theory of Everything (TOE) or multiple "domain specific" theories?

It's common to hear that physicists are trying to find a Theory of everything (TOE). We "logically" consider the more elegant / concise theory as true ... because beauty is thruth ... or is it ? What ...
kondor's user avatar
  • 183
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Considering time and space as theory-free concepts

I note the question "Time and space – a subject of metaphysics?" might be very near to my question, and maybe the answer is there somewhere. In that case I - as an amateur - would be grateful for a ...
Mikael Jensen's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
386 views

Are there any good non-technical discussions of what a scientific theory is?

So, I'm teaching a course on Scientific Realism in the fall. I wanted to start off with a unit titled "What is a theory?" to make sure all of my students are on the same page and to prepare ...
Dennis's user avatar
  • 4,642
9 votes
10 answers
3k views

Does mathematics always need axioms?

To do mathematics, one obviously needs definitions; but, do we always need axioms? I was thinking that a statement like For all prime numbers, there exists a strictly greater prime number. cannot ...
goblin GONE's user avatar
  • 1,087