Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Theory? Huh?

I am currently reading student papers, preparing for oral assessments tomorrow and Friday. Before I meet my students, I want to give them (and not just the ones who are to face me, but all students writing papers all over the world) a free tip which may make paper writing in academia easier.

Figure out what "Theory" means.

Here are some free definitions:

A bit more challenging:
Jonathan Culler, What is Theory, chapter one in his book Literary Theory, a very short introduction.

The Wikipedias don't entirely agree:
Wikipedia has a long and quite informative article about it, discussing the meaning of "theory" in different contexts.

This is opposed to the Norwegian Wikipedia article, where theory is presented as applicable to the natural sciences only.

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