Key Difference – Philosophy vs Theory
Philosophy and theory are two terms that we often encounter in the field of academic. Philosophy is basically the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Theory is a supposition or a system of ideas that is intended to explain something. This is the key difference between philosophy and theory.
What is Philosophy?
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, mind, knowledge, reason, values, and language. This discipline comprises of various sub-disciplines such as logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Some common problems in philosophy include: What is existence? Is it possible to know everything? Is it possible to know anything and prove it? Do we have a free well? What is the meaning of life? What is reality?
Critical discussions, questioning, rational argument and systematic presentations are some philosophical methods used to explore these philosophical questions.
Philosophy is one the oldest fields of study. The coinage of the word philosophy is attributed to Pythagoras. Plato, Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Socrates, Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas, and Friedrich Nietzsche are some notable philosophers.
What is Theory?
Theory is a supposition or a system of ideas that is intended to explain something. It is a result of a detailed analysis and can be usually proven with empirical evidence. Theories can be used to explain and understand a certain phenomenon or predict outcomes of something. Theoretical knowledge is imperative in understanding different concepts and situations.
Theories can also be categorized into two main types based on the type of data they present. Scientific theories are the theories that can be proven with empirical data. However, theories in the field of philosophy do not consist of empirical data; rather they are philosophical ideas.
Scientific theories generally start as hypotheses – a hypothesis is an assumption made by scientists before a research study, but once it is analyzed and proved to be correct, it is recognized as a theory.
The word theory is often used in contrast with practice since practice involves actively doing something whereas theory mainly involves mental functions.
What is the difference between Philosophy and Theory?
Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.
Theory is a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something.
Philosophy can be categorized into different types, and each of these branches has separate theories.
Theories in philosophy are different from scientific theories since most of them do not contain empirical data.
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