Theory

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The word theory, when used by scientists, refers to an explanation of reality that has been thoroughly tested so that most scientists agree on it. It can be changed if new information is found. Theory is different from a working hypothesis, which is a theory that hasn't been fully tested; that is, a hypothesis is an unproven theory.
The word theory also distinguishes ideas from practice. The words empirical and clinical are also used to distinguish theory from practice. This is different from laypeople's use of the word theory which is usually used to mean an idea that isn't certain, that is not reality.

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Explanation

In philosophy, theory (from ancient Greek theoria, θεωρία, meaning "a looking at, viewing, beholding") refers to contemplation or speculation, as opposed to action.[1] Theory is especially often contrasted to "practice" (Greek praxis, πρᾶξις) a concept that in its original Aristotelian context referred to actions done for their own sake, but can also refer to "technical" actions instrumental to some other aim, such as the making of tools or houses. "Theoria" is also a word still used in theological contexts.

A classical example uses the discipline of medicine to explain the distinction: Medical theory and theorizing involves trying to understand the causes and nature of health and sickness, while the practical side of medicine is trying to make people healthy. These two things are related but can be independent, because it is possible to research health and sickness without curing specific patients, and it is possible to cure a patient without knowing how the cure worked.[2]

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