What is Theory? – from Dubin

LOGO FINALQuality IS…a recipe for connecting patterns.

Why seek criteria that will lead to a coherent quality theory with explanatory power?

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What is Theory? – Robert Dubin is author of Theory Building, revised edition.

  •  A typical theory addresses two distinct goals of science one prediction and one understanding.
  • A proposition is not necessarily a true statement about the real world the model represents but they are true logical statements about the theoretical system..
  • Propositions are truth statements that can be used for a theory that has its concepts, laws of interaction among the concepts, boundaries, and system states specified.
  • The criterion of the system of logic by which the theorist thinks makes all the propositions about the theory he or she builds true.
  • Understanding is knowledge about the interaction of concepts in a system.
  • To achieve understanding of a system we need to know the interaction processes in it and the outcome that was generated by those processes.
  • Theories help us find order in our world by explaining the booming bustling confusion that is in the realm of experience.
  • A theoretical model is the scientific model if and only if its creator is willing to subject it to an empirical test otherwise it falls in the realm of philosophy or theology.
  • Truth insofar as a theoretical model is “true” rests exactly on that slender base of expert consensus.

My next post will explore the thoughts of  James Jaccard and Jacob Jacoby, authors of Theory Construction and Model-Building Skills.