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1 definition found
 for Theories
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     2. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any
        science; as, the theory of music.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory
        and practice of medicine.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either
        physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion;
        Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Atomic theory, Binary theory, etc. See under Atomic,
        Binary, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
            [1913 Webster] Theosoph

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