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Theories: theories are statement systems for the explanation of observations, e.g. of behavior or physical, chemical or biological processes. When setting up theories, a subject domain, a vocabulary of the terms to be used and admissible methods of observation are defined. In addition to explanations, the goal of the theory formation is the predictability and comparability of observations. See also systems, models, experiments, observation, observation language, theoretical terms, theoretical entities, predictions, analogies, comparisons, evidence, verification, reduction, definitions, definability.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

William James on Theories - Dictionary of Arguments

Diaz-Bone I 72/73
Theory/Practice/James: E.g History of a squirrel: a squirrel hides from a hiker, by always moving on the far side of a tree. "Metaphysical question": Does the hiker walk around the squirrel when he or she walks around the tree? The solution depends on how to define its terms. >Metaphysics/James
Pragmatism: pragmatism serves primarily to clarify such stories, which would otherwise be endlessly pushed back and forth. The method is to choose the answer with regard to their respective practical consequences.
For example, is a chemical substance a compound with a labile hydrogen atom that oscillates between two positions, or is it a mixture of isomers? Solution: the answer depends on the practical effects within an experiment. The debate becomes meaningless.
I 74
Theory/James: a theory is also a form of practice, a meaning being separated from any action, perpetuity, belief is not conceivable. >Pragmatism/James.
Horwich I 24
Theory/James: alternative theories can sometimes be just as compatible with all existing truths. (JamesVsCoherence Theory).(1)

1. William James (1907) "Pragmatisms Conception of Truth“ (Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, 4 p. 141-55 and 396-406) in: Paul Horwich (Ed.) Theories of Truth, Aldershot 1994

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

James I
R. Diaz-Bone/K. Schubert
William James zur Einführung Hamburg 1996

Horwich I
P. Horwich (Ed.)
Theories of Truth Aldershot 1994

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