Build-Up and Use of Theories

  • Roelof A. A. Oldeman


A theory should not be confused with a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a supposition that looks well but still has to be proven. Originally, “theory” (ϑεωρια) was the Greek term indicating the act of concentratedly and religiously looking at a theatre, its actors giving an ordered message. It has come to mean, in a figurative sense, looking at ordered facts so as to read the information which they convey. The order in a theory often is very abstract, and theories often claim universal validity. A theory concerning a limited system will here be called a model. This distinction is not made in this way by all authors.


Forest Ecosystem Forest Stand Architectural Model Greek Term Forest Mosaic 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roelof A. A. Oldeman
    • 1
  1. 1.WageningenThe Netherlands

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