Why seek criteria that will lead to a coherent quality theory with explanatory power?
“Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.” – Immanuel Kant
Kant (1724 –1804) was a German philosopher who is widely considered to be a central figure of modern philosophy. He argued that human concepts and categories structure our view of the world and its laws (Wikipedia).
Mankind most likely starts accumulating experience at birth. The paths we choose during life dictate the nature of the experience that we acquire. We become highly experienced by years of practice. Education does not provide experience. There is one common thread; whether we are carpenters or college professors, we learn from others. A hunter is not born a hunter. The knowledge about hunting is passed down and when the novice is successful utilizing that knowledge the novice becomes an experienced hunter.
The very nature of a literature review, put in the context of assumptions, relies on the knowledge of others. If we follow references and citations back to a point of origin we find that we have connected decades of knowledge. Theory is about connecting knowledge with a new idea thrown in to provide a new connection. Experience is a key element related to the preparation for developing a theory. Knowledge, when applied, becomes experience. If we do not apply what we have learned then we waste our knowledge and do not become experienced.
Ideally, our theories should come from those that have knowledge and experience.
Next post – Imagination – another key for preparation?