Previous: Paradigm space
There are almost as many definitions of `theory' and `model' as there are
scientists who talk about them. Here, a simple distinction will be made
in which the concepts of `formalism', `theory' and `model' are important,
as well as the concept of `observational method.
The methodological preference dimension in paradigm space
can be differentiated out to define
the notion of a theory as a function of three main factors, visualised in
- A system of symbols with rules of syntax (rules of formation) and a procedural semantics (rules of inference, deduction, transformation).
- Empirical and hermeneutic-interpretative methods for relating a model to reality. In conversational analysis, physical and quantitative observational methods are not focussed; the interpretation of speaker intentions is in the foreground. In experimental phonetics, on the other hand, physical and functional, structural or communicative categories and their associated empirical and interpretative judgments are related to each other explicitly.
- Segment of the real world selected for description by the theory via a model. On naive view of the domain, the domain is `given' in some sense; however, selection and observation processes co-determine the domain.
Figure 2: Method space.
Fri Nov 28 02:24:58 MET 1997