There never comes a point where a theory can be said to be true. The most that one can claim for any theory is that it has shared the successes of all its rivals and that it has passed at least one test which they have failed.
Author: Sir Alfred Jules Ayer (1910-1989)
Profession: British Philosopher
Theories are always very thin and insubstantial, experience only is tangible.
Author: Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)
Profession: American Theologian, Founder of ''Universalism''
It is not enough for theory to describe and analyze, it must itself be an event in the universe it describes. In order to do this theory must partake of and become the acceleration of this logic. It must tear itself from all referents and take pride only in the future. Theory must operate on time at the cost of a deliberate distortion of present reality.
Author: Jean Baudrillard
Profession: French Postmodern Philosopher, Writer
To insure the adoration of a theorem for any length of time, faith is not enough, a police force is needed as well.
Author: Albert Camus (1913-1960)
Profession: French Existential Writer
The world can doubtless never be well known by theory: practice is absolutely necessary; but surely it is of great use to a young man, before he sets out for that country, full of mazes, windings, and turnings, to have at least a general map of it, made by some experienced traveler.
Author: Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)
Profession: British Statesman, Author
In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.
Author: Denis Diderot (1713-1784)
Profession: French Philosopher
A theory is the more impressive the greater is the simplicity of its premises, the more different are the kinds of things it relates and the more extended the range of its applicability.
Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.
It is theory that decides what can be observed.
No theory is good unless it permits, not rest, but the greatest work. No theory is good except on condition that one use it to go on beyond.
Author: Andre Gide (1869-1951)
Profession: French Author
The wise man regulates his conduct by the theories both of religion and science. But he regards these theories not as statements of ultimate fact but as art-forms.
Author: John B. S. Haldane (1892-1964)
Profession: British Scientist, Author
Theories that go counter to the facts of human nature are foredoomed.
Author: Edith Hamilton (1867-1963)
Profession: American Classical Scholar, Translator
Unaware of the absurdity of it, we introduce our own petty household rules into the economy of the universe for which the life of generations, peoples, of entire planets, has no importance in relation to the general development.
Author: Alexander Herzen (1812-1870)
Profession: Russian Journalist, Political Thinker
Even for practical purposes theory generally turns out the most important thing in the end.
Author: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)
Profession: American Author, Wit, Poet
The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is the bane of our profession.
Author: Sherlock Holmes
Profession: Fictional Detective (Sir Conan Doyle)