Re: What is a theory? LO3748
Sat, 18 Nov 1995 05:29:32 -0500

Replying to LO3720 --

Michael writes:

>results. But isn't what you then go on to describe as an approach a
>theory in itself? Isn't it grounded in some other theories about
>people, our relationship to the world, and how we produce results?

Michael's mention of "grounding" triggered a memory of a paragraph in the
introduction to one of my books. It may or may not seem relevant (it does
to me).

"But the problems [of an incoherent education because of fragmented,
discipline-based conceptions of reality] can be solved. I offer as a
basis for solution an approach based on two propositions. The first is
Galileo's and Descartes' contention that knowledge is nothing more nor
less than the power to manipulate the world according to the principles
inherent in the model used to represent it."

[The rest of that paragraph was]: "The second is summarized by Stephen Jay
Gould's observation in THE PANDA"S THUMB that "information always reaches
us through the strong filters of culture, hope and expectation."

Marion Brady