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Clark
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“Time and again you castigate ‘conspiracy theories’…”

Please reassess what you think my position is, on two counts. Firstly, I wrote:

“…what I would call conspiracy theory. It is not without utility”

Secondly, please also consider the difference between (1) +a+ conspiracy theory, or conspiracy theories, and (2) conspiracy theory. From yourdictionary.com:

“The definition of a theory is an idea to explain something, or a set of guiding principles. Einstein’s ideas about relativity are an example of the theory of relativity. The scientific principles of evolution that are used to explain human life are an example of the theory of evolution.”

From merriam-webster.com:

“in scientific reasoning, a hypothesis is an assumption made before any research has been completed for the sake of testing. A theory on the other hand is a principle set to explain phenomena already supported by data.”

So there are two different uses of the word “theory”:

(1) The one people usually tend to think of is “+a+ theory”, which means “a suspicion” or “a proposal”.

(2) The one people usually forget about is “theory” on its own, and it means a set of principles for guiding thought about a matter. Examples include the driving theory test, and music theory.

I think there is a lot of confusion around these two subtly different uses of the one word “theory”. Do you get the distinction I’m describing?

  • This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by modbot.