Difference between Fact and Theory | Difference Between | Difference between Fact vs Theory
After certain iterations the process may lead to derivation of some theory. . variables in order to show the relationship and suitability of his investigation. 2 years. Accordingly, we may reformulate the issue of theory and practice in terms of the connections between different language games and power relationship between . Fact vs Theory. The terms fact and theory are words with different meanings. Although both are used in many different fields of studies, they still manage to have.
Describe the difference between a theory and scientific law. Although all of us have taken science classes throughout the course of our study, many people have incorrect or misleading ideas about some of the most important and basic principles in science. We have all heard of hypotheses, theories, and laws, but what do they really mean?
Before you read this section, think about what you have learned about these terms before. What do these terms mean to you? What do you read contradicts what you thought? What do you read supports what you thought? What is a Fact? A fact is a basic statement establish by experiment or observation. All facts are true under the specific conditions of the observation.
What is a Hypothesis? One of the most common terms used in science classes is a "hypothesis". The word can have many different definitions, depending on the context in which it is being used: Tentative or Proposed explanation - hypotheses can be suggestions about why something is observed, but in order for it to be scientific, we must be able to test the explanation to see if it works, if it is able to correctly predict what will happen in a situation, such as: A hypothesis is very tentative; it can be easily changed.
What is a Theory?
Difference between Fact and Theory
The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena. Such fact-supported theories are not "guesses" but reliable accounts of the real world. The theory of biological evolution is more than "just a theory. Our understanding of gravity is still a work in progress.
But the phenomenon of gravity, like evolution, is an accepted fact.
The relationship between theory and methods | Revision World
Theories are explanations of natural phenomenon. They aren't predictions although we may use theories to make predictions. They are explanations why we observe something. Theories aren't likely to change. They can be ignored as irrelevant, or looked upon as accidents or monsters; they may lead to the creation of another category, to a radical change in the language, or to restriction of the scope of the generalisation.
If anomalies evoke crises and revolutions, the question is why those responses are preferred to more conservative alternatives.
At the same time, classifications cannot follow abstract universal rules. As we remarked above, criteria cannot be other than words that should be explained. If neither the world nor rules can provide grounds for language, languages are looked upon as institutions, or self-referential practices.
Self- referentiality is defined as lying somewhere in between an independent reference and the total absence of reference: Moreover, if different groups within a community use words or concepts differently, it is impossible to establish in absolute terms who is right and who is wrong, because the only possible parameter is agreement within the group.
Bloor discerns a close analogy between Wittgenstein's perspective on language and Von Mises' interpretation of price formation in a market economy. Although prices may appear to be external and objective to the individual who participates in these transactions. The only real price is the price paid in the course of real transactions as they proceed von Fall zu Fall.
Wittgenstein strongly attacks attempts to look for mistakes in the customs of communities. If an entire community uses a concept in a certain way, the only thing that can be said is that this is the way things stand within that community; to talk of mistakes in absolute terms is impossible.
In this view uncertainty about the use of words is not a shortcoming exclusively of social work or of the social sciences. It reminds us that there may be communities with completely different languages from our own, and that there is no absolute standard with which to compare among languages.
Of course this is of particular relevance to the social work profession, which is very often — if not always — involved in connecting people from different segments of society, different social classes, different cultures.
It helps us make sense of the clash in perspective and power struggle between practitioners and clients, which has been the subject of so much debate Margolin Accordingly, within the social work community, certain terms and concepts are likely to be used by practitioners in ways which academics fail to recognize. Some research has explicitly treated this as a problem Stevenson and Parsloe ; Marsh and Triseliotis ; Osmond et al.
Differences between formal academic definitions and concepts as defined by practitioners simply highlight the differences between the academic and practitioner communities and their respective languages. Differences though cannot be looked at as casual. Since language is conceived as self-referential, it could be regarded as the outcome of creative processes within specific communities.
1.3: Hypothesis, Theories, and Laws
They emphasise largely undeveloped themes in Wittgenstein's thought, most notably the part played by interests in language games Wittgenstein mainly referred to needs. Language games cannot be explained by an external worldly reality, nor by the intrinsic authority of concepts, nor by their nature as collective habits and routines we change our habits, in fact, and these changes are among the facts that call for explanation.
Rather, categorisation as conceptualisation must be explained as determined by the interplay of interests within a community: In the case of theory and practice, we may start by considering how the different interests at work within the social work community can explain different definitions of these terms.
Assumption of this perspective may appear somewhat disconcerting: If our categories are the product of an agreement within the community - in other words if they are conventional - then reality may not play any part in them. This would be like saying that reality and the world do not exist: This is not Wittgenstein's position, however; nor, on the whole, is it the position of the interpreters of his thought to whom I have referred.
The issue is not whether the world exists but rather whether an absolute and unique order exists independently of our conventional cognitive order. What is maintained is that the world and our experiences present us with an infinite, complex criss-crossing of similarities and differences. Nothing is totally alike to anything else, and nothing is totally different. It can be hypothesised that human beings have a generic disposition to perceive differences and resemblances in a constant way.
But neither the world nor our nature dictates the lines differences and resemblances along which the world should be cut. The way it is sliced is the product of a certain community agreement in practices, and it can be - and indeed is — constantly revised. This is a fundamental point in the strong programme. Giving it due importance enables us to counter some of the criticisms of subjectivism brought against the strong programme and Wittgenstein Lolli ; Nagel Subjectivism and relativism have often been considered high-risk positions in the social sciences, and especially in social work.
In fact, the perspective presented here can be considered as a form of subjectivism when communities are regarded anthropomorphically as individuals endowed with a perceptive apparatus, a will, and a capacity to select among several possible uses of words. But this is not the case here. What is described is, on the contrary, a natural process: In a sense, to say that objectivity arises from a conventional order is not the same as equating subjectivity and objectivity.
And to say that the distinction between what is subjective and what is objective, what is true and what is false, is the product of ongoing negotiation and adjustments among the members of a community is neither to say that it is arbitrary nor to reject the distinction Hughes One may regard this way the concepts, crucial to social work, from the ones which designate a phenomenon on which social work intervenes such as child abuse. This kind of relativism questions, not the objectivity of the phenomena denoted by these terms as some have suggested see Sheppard; Peile et al.
These terms can be regarded as measuring rods, as socially constructed standards which create an objective reality. The question now is whether the perspective presented can cast new light on the entire discussion, and suggest new ways to connect different issues, themes, and trends together.
That professional communities are internally divided on the basis of conflicting interests has been extensively argued with reference to other professional groups Freidson ; Atkinson The discussion of key terms which cuts across the entire debate requires us to consider its relevance to segmentations, different interests or different strategies to pursue these interests within the social work community. Looking at the debate we can see that some key terms are crucial in the discussion.
The distinctive feature of the debate is that different definitions are given to a quite specific set of factors, e. We may fruitfully consider the entire debate and broad approaches, e. In a sense, different definitions and different uses of terms and concepts can be linked to different definitions of the groups concerned practitioners, academic social workers, employers and of their relations.
When the different positions in the debate are seen this way, one is struck by the central importance of defining boundaries among groups, associated with the introduction or blurring of distinctions and differences in the terms. The authors who maintain that theory guides practice see a strong divide between scientific theories and common sense.
In contrast, those who deny theory such a role also question the sharpness of the latter distinction. One cannot help noticing that these different ways of drawing distinctions impact directly on definitions of the relationship between the academic social work community and the practitioners' community. They also affect the related, different ways to draw frontiers between the professions, with informal lay helpers on one side, and other professions on the other.
Given the concrete importance of boundary definition, it is likely that behind the debate lies a complex interplay of interests. Actually several authors have connected the emergence and differentiation of positions with the different interests of the specific groups involved.
For instance, Payne declares that the pragmatic position, and the critical views towards theory and theoretical training in social work, rests on a power struggle for control over practitioners. Although he goes no further than this, one naturally thinks of the struggle among agencies to gain control over the training of social workers Lee ; Dominelli Employers and agencies are often seen as critical toward theoretical training for social workers, their position being that a good level of practical information would be enough.
Some authors see for instance Dominnelli maintain that this position is motivated by the interest in employing more manageable and less independent-minded practitioners: On the other side, many authors connect the debate over the integration of theory and practice with a struggle by academic social workers to gain acceptance in the academic community and at the same time assume control over the practitioners' community.
Albeit in completely different ways, Sheppard and Sheldon note that - particularly in order to gain access to the academic community - academic social workers seem to have lost contact with the specificity of social work practice.
This combines with the fact that, in order to be accepted, they have assumed a subordinate position with respect to other more established disciplines in the social sciences. Some authors anyway have clearly focused on the interests and power struggles identified as driving the debate Karger He sees the debate on the transformation of social work into a scientific practice as an undercover struggle between practitioners and academics.
It is a struggle between the researcher-academicians and practitioners for control of social work - a struggle between values, beliefs, and the Weltanschauung of the researchers and the practitioners' perspective. KragerKarger remarks that the importance given to science masks a struggle for the definition of a hierarchical relation between different social groups and that there seems to be a wider political dimension in the struggle.
First, the division of labour it entails reflects and confirms the division of labour in the wider society. The earlier stories were shrouded in religion and today's are scientific, but both make claims of legitimacy. The function of both stories is to reinforce the existing social paradigm in a society. KargerOne cannot help thinking of the present debate over evidence based practice, and the quest for scientific social work, which is still very strong.
Under the perspective described here, the entire debate can be taken to be part of negotiations by different groups over their reciprocal positions. If one examines the two approaches identified in terms of negotiating strategies, it appears that the former entails a quest for control by academics over practitioners and for recognition of social work within the academic context, albeit in a subordinate position in relation to more established disciplines.
The advantage of this strategy for practitioners would be elevation to the level of other, more accredited professions. In this approach, boundaries, between thinking and doing, between scientific knowledge and common sense, between professional and lay people, are mainly vertical, and they mark out a hierarchy.
The second approach tends to underline differences and peculiarities more in qualitative terms, but along continuous lines; boundaries are mainly horizontal. Here an alliance between academics and practitioners is crucial, and, in relation to the academic context, the struggle is for social work to be accepted as different but equal among the social sciences see for instance the emphasis on social work as an autonomous academic discipline in Sheppard Negotiating strategies, in fact, are built up through the different uses made of, and the meanings attributed to, the crucial terms.
Most of the inconsistencies underlined in the past Clark make sense if the positions are seen in terms of strategies for negotiating relationships among groups.
More specifically, it reminds us of the fact that any new definition of the issue is bound to be one step in a negotiating process, and in doing so, it sets the scene for new critical reflections. But reflection on languages prompts a further consideration. The endeavour to define theory and practice by means of a speculative exercise - which many regard to be the first step in research - appears destined to create more confusion than clarity. Likewise, individual attempts to create abstract definitions and to draw abstract distinctions among different kinds of knowledge are unlikely to gain empirical relevance: One can learn to repeat abstract definitions in a manner recognised by the other members of the community, and to discriminate them from other abstract definitions.
But this is different from the ability consistently to apply labels to specific situations, namely in the same way as other members of the community do. The point is that it is not necessary to establish and define what the terms mean; we need only look empirically at how they are used in different contexts.
Accounts and descriptions of work are more than means to understand a reality that lies beyond them; they become the direct object of research.
Hypothesis, Theories, and Laws - Chemistry LibreTexts
Descriptions can be treated as samples of language games, and it is at this level that the connection between theory and practice can be found. This approach is not new in social work. Paley already noted the difficulty of handling the issue of theory and practice within the more traditional frameworks. In his view, the question of whether social workers do or do not use theory should be avoided. His hypothesis is that most practitioners' statements about theory express a reluctance to account for their practices in theoretical terms, and at the same time the belief that they should be able to do so.
Barbour are in Paley's view all variations on the same linguistic theme. He hypothesises that in social work as in other fields Gilbert and Mulkayit is possible to identify two linguistic repertoires: Paley suggests that it may be more interesting to study the contingent language, rather than ask questions that elicit the official one. This is in tune with many recent studies in which the question of theory and practice has been set aside, and which directly explore practitioners' descriptions of their work.
While assuming the same perspective, I disagree with Paley on many points. This looks like a new version of the dichotomy between language and reality: And it is the recurrent, roughly similar use of words and their frequent combinations that enable us to understand the languages of the profession, not nuances or subtle differences.
Secondly, Paley seemingly implies that academic language has no impact whatsoever on the contingent repertoire. It should be borne in mind, though, that when we talk about theory and practice, we are considering the impact of study on practice. Paley's position implies that years of training and contacts with the academic community are devoid of impact on how practitioners think, or rather, on practitioners' language and frames.
If this were the case, it would be better to abandon any reflection on training altogether, viewing professional courses as mere rituals that must be performed in order to acquire the proper designation, namely to qualify as a social worker. On the contrary, while acknowledging that social workers who account for their practice in terms of specific models are probably something of an exception, the picture changes when we consider the concepts or terms used to describe their work, clients, and so on.
One finds that many of the terms used to account for practice are taken from the social work literature. Exploring the use of common terms or concepts in the two different languages may be a fruitful way to investigate the issue of theory and practice.
This approach enables us to address a question of relevance to practitioners, without dropping one of the terms of my research question theory as other researchers have done.
Incidentally, the role of theoretical concepts in making sense of professional reality has become an interesting object of reflection. As De Montigny suggests, the ethnomethodology approach to language, which underlines how self portrayed objective accounts are indexical, opens up new research on how meaning is constructed in social work De Montigny A relativistic approach to language can also inspire an interesting line of research, as a term considered crucial both in the literature and by practitioners, or which is used across the world, may provide the starting point for exploration of the issue.
When the issue is addressed in terms of language games, what elsewhere has been treated as a problem - namely, differences in the use of theoretical terms by practitioners, or different uses of words in different contexts - becomes the focus of interest.
When this claim is set aside, similarities and differences reveal the transformations of use that a term undergoes when used within different groups or segments of the community. In this sense, the analysis of similarities and differences among uses of the same term, and of its linkages with other terms within broader systems of meaning, gives us access to the different languages spoken within the practitioners' community. At the same time, besides the above considerations, addressing the issue through a particular concrete example may provide practitioners with a chance to express opinions about how they specifically connect theory to practice.
Starting from a specific case renders discussion of the issue more manageable and focused. Thanks also to my colleague Massimiano Bucchi for his careful reading of a previous draft; and to my late friend Paolo Donati for his encouragement and insight.
European Journal of Social Work, 2, pp. Tackling the Theory and Practice Dilemma, in: British Journal of Social Work, 1, pp. Theory and Practice in Social Work. Kuhn and Social Science. A Historical and Contemporary View, in: