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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
theory
noun
COLLOCATIONS FROM OTHER ENTRIES
a conspiracy theory (=a belief by a number of people that something is the result of a conspiracy)
▪ President Kennedy’s assassination inspired a lot of conspiracy theories.
big bang theory
conflicting theories
▪ There are conflicting theories about the origin of the universe.
formulate an idea/theory
▪ Darwin formulated the theory of natural selection.
implausible theory/idea/explanation etc
▪ Margaret found his excuse somewhat implausible.
information theory
prove a theory
▪ No evidence emerged to prove either theory.
put forward a theory/hypothesis
▪ Many theories have been put forward as to the building’s original purpose.
quantum theory
steady state theory
subscribe to the view/belief/theory etc
▪ I have never subscribed to the view that schooldays are the happiest days of your life.
the theory of evolution
▪ Many Christians find it impossible to accept Darwin's theory of evolution.
unorthodox view/approach/theory etc
▪ Her unorthodox views tend to attract controversy.
COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
■ ADJECTIVE
classical
▪ Butaccording to the classical electromagnetic theory presupposed by Bohr's theory, orbiting electrons should radiate.
▪ This gives a vast space of possible states-much more than for afield in classical theory.
▪ Time is not considered in classical theories yet no experiment can be made which does not involve time.
▪ The predictability is as clear-cut as it is in the classical theory.
▪ Friedman's statement of the natural rate hypothesis went a long way towards reconciling such evidence with basic classical theory.
▪ Indeed, what is observed is quite inexplicable on the basis of classical theory.
▪ In contrast, classical game theory supposes rational players, and seeks a solution in terms of how such players would behave.
▪ The classical theory of comparative advantage is often taught as if everyone benefits from trade.
critical
▪ This is that critical theory offers an aesthetic evaluation of works of art.
▪ So would you if you left graduate school in the recession year of 1991 with a degree in something called critical theory.
▪ There are two particular knowledge systems that attract the attention of critical theory: science and mass culture.
▪ This brings us to an approach recently fashionable in critical theory and denoted by the term deconstruction.
▪ Thus, the relationship of critical theory to postmodernism and poststructuralism is indeed a far more complex matter than is commonly assumed.
▪ Through a process of critical appraisal successive theories build on those that go before.
▪ It was left to Jürgen Habermas to establish a more comprehensive account of the basis of critical theory.
▪ Habermas's theory involves a reflexive moment that was present but unsatisfactorily worked out in the earlier versions of critical theory.
economic
▪ Some relate to queries concerning economic theory, others to the nature of the actors involved in political processes.
▪ It all sounds like economic theories, you know.
▪ Elsewhere contradictions between models and economic theory can be noted.
▪ At this point, economists and economic theory have entered the game.
▪ Critics of regulation from the standpoint of economic theory can not have it both ways.
▪ The scientistic rationale was particularly influential in the creation of modern economic theory.
▪ The economic theory of job search has grown into an important aspect of labour economics in recent years.
▪ They cobbled together their economic theories, then, while straddling the secular and the sacred.
general
▪ In Donoghue v Stevenson in 1932 the House of Lords shaped a general theory of manufacturer's liability in tort for products.
▪ The general theory of invariants is thus a part of the theory of constraints.
▪ Such a description must certainly play a role in any general theory of linguistics.
▪ In parallel with the work of the classification theorists, general systems theory has evolved to consider similar problems.
▪ The two theories are the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics.
▪ Freud himself began to develop a general theory of unconscious emotional processes in human societies.
▪ One general psychological theory of the intrinsic nature of indecent jokes is, however, of considerable relevance and practical value here.
▪ Without an advocacy stage few general theories in biology would ever have arisen.
literary
▪ Brooke-Rose's engagement with feminist theory is typical of her encounter with literary theory in general.
▪ Contemporary literary theory has also questioned whether a relation between words and things is easily achieved, even possible.
▪ As far as literary theory is concerned, it is perhaps this more than anything else which constitutes the structuralist revolution.
▪ In literary theory they emerge as Marxism, phenomenology, existentialism, structuralism, poststructuralism, deconstruction.
▪ Tredell's analysis is perhaps too synchronic, suggesting that the various modes of literary theory coexist, whether easily or uneasily.
▪ The result is a range of different genres of literary criticism and literary theory, to some extent distinguished by register.
▪ Fergus was also in the right field, which was literary theory.
▪ The principal characters, Larissa Toren and Armel Santores, teach literature and literary theory at two equally radical universities.
marxist
▪ Most of the views dealt with in the following sections have been influenced by Marxist or Weberian theories of stratification.
▪ This kind of analysis has implications for the Marxist theory of the state.
▪ However Althusser found it difficult to maintain a Marxist theory of history while avoiding its customary Hegelian form.
▪ Socialist and Marxist theories of the state.
▪ The following account represents a simplified version of Marxist theory.
▪ What this means is that there is no way that any hypothesis drawn from Marxist theory can be disproved by empirical investigation.
▪ The points raised in this brief summary of Marxist theory will now be examined in greater detail.
modern
▪ In a striking anticipation of some modern theories, he claimed that humans have intelligence because they have hands.
▪ The scientistic rationale was particularly influential in the creation of modern economic theory.
▪ Berkeley's theory gave rise to the development of modern externalist theories of mental content.
▪ We consider the modern theories of unemployment and inflation in Chapters 26 and 27 respectively.
▪ It is a remarkable testimony to the depths to which modern opening theory extends that this position is still known.
▪ As we have seen, modern theories of Pavlovian conditioning assume that stimuli can activate the representations of other events.
▪ In modern portfolio theory this is defined as the extent to which the construction of the portfolio has eliminated non-market risk.
▪ In 1907 Wedderburn proved one of the fundamental theorems of modern non-commutative ring theory.
political
▪ Having to tackle procedures restricted by legislation also forced us to apply political theories to practical realities without too much compromise.
▪ But it would be equally wrong to treat it as a seminar in political theory....
▪ Laski's political theory can in general be seen as the product of a pragmatic revolt in politics.
▪ The active influential citizen described ill normative political theory is not excused from the obligations of the subject.
▪ Such points, nevertheless, should not detract from the overall value of his political theory.
▪ Children might as well come from cabbage patches as far as most political and economic theory is concerned.
▪ Most trade unionists had been indifferent to any political theory beyond an instinctive syndicalism which was itself largely confined to industrial disputes.
▪ This tradition itself can be traced back a long way in political theory.
psychological
▪ And feminist psychologists are still predominantly concerned with making egalitarian corrections to traditional psychological theories, rather than working with their uncertainties.
▪ In most cases, general psychological theories have been loosely related to politically relevant behavior.
▪ The biological aspect of woman-centred psychological theories provides them with some theoretical distinctiveness.
▪ A caution was previously made regarding the rejection of psychological theories on emotional grounds.
▪ Lott, for instance, says that anyone interested in making psychological theory generally more interactionist, must be interested in feminist research.
▪ Similarly, one must caution against accepting psychological theories for emotional reasons.
▪ The biological and psychological theories stressed this distinctiveness.
▪ All psychological theories are organic and living and thus changing.
scientific
▪ This list could be greatly extended with accounts of successful predictions and explanations made possible by inductively derived scientific laws and theories.
▪ A scientific theory, not just a rhetorical one.
▪ However, this caveat is a special case of the general truth that any scientific theory is necessarily underdetermined by the evidence.
▪ Fletcher turned his trick into a whole scientific theory.
▪ Darwin's theory is an example of a scientific theory which is chiefly explanatory.
▪ In itself this does not seem to me to point the way towards any helpful scientific theory of mind.
▪ Newton's physical theories, however, are a good example of how a scientific theory may be predictive as well as explanatory.
▪ A scientific theory can not be proved but only disproved.
social
▪ A thorough review of social movement theory and research in advanced industrial democracies.
▪ Most claim to be interactionists, enlisting both biological and social theories.
▪ This presents further developments in social movement theory and research.
▪ This pragmatic movement in philosophy also had a significant impact on the social theory of the time.
▪ It is an experiment in social science theory and method.
▪ The rhetorical perspective has explicitly criticized the one-sidedness of much cognitive social psychological theory and its emphasis upon schematic categorization.
▪ What about people? Social theories abound.
▪ These characteristic ideas of functionalism are found running throughout the theories of sociological positivism, evolutionary social theories, and pragmatism.
■ NOUN
conspiracy
▪ Like all good conspiracy theories, the polio vaccine theory's originators are its worst enemies.
▪ These people have enough conspiracy theories on their plates.
▪ In this way, the strategy proceeds from the same antisemitic assumptions and stereotypes as the more familiar and anti-Zionist conspiracy theories.
▪ The militia is really a direct-mail marketing operation for conspiracy theory videos and a busy interchange on the information superhighway.
▪ The answer is that it is difficult to see a conspiracy theory at work.
▪ Those blacks dedicated to conspiracy theories see white devils behind the murders of both Shakur and Wallace.
▪ This is particularly relevant to the conspiracy theory of politics.
▪ In a world filled with guilt and bitterness, there is no room for self-criticism or objective analysis. Conspiracy theories abound.
quantum
▪ The first derives from the quantum theory.
▪ According to quantum theory, elementary particles do not really exist until an intelligent observer measures them.
▪ Here is the unique point at which the fitful indeterminacy of quantum theory makes itself felt.
▪ Using quantum theory to understand gravity makes as much sense as trying solve a crossword puzzle with the key to your door.
▪ However, in quantum theory, anything that is not actually forbidden can and will happen.
▪ And yet, the most sophisticated experiments have proved quantum theory correct time after time.
▪ In the quantum theory of gravity, on the other hand, a third possibility arises.
▪ In the quantum theory, the appropriate analogous concept is that of a Hilbertspace.
■ VERB
based
▪ How to do research based on their theories has proved difficult for the phenomenologists.
▪ But, like global warming, ozone depletion was based on theory.
▪ This tale of parallel realities claims to be based on quantum theory, and is dressed up with suitable jargon.
▪ The Richards function is based on theories and data about how the relative growth rate should behave.
▪ Our understanding of the world around us is based on theory.
▪ The new formulation is based on attribution theory.
▪ Nor were his warnings a fluke; his ability to provide such foresight was based upon his theory of equilibrium.
develop
▪ Case 1: Linguistics A linguist devises a model of grammar in the process of developing a theory of human cognition.
▪ Scholes originally developed the theory working with Black, who died in 1995.
▪ I have developed a theory to explain recent incidents in the light of what I have learned about you.
▪ But recently my colleagues and I have developed another theory which I think has more interesting implications.
▪ This raises interesting issues: Which assumptions of e-commerce may force you to develop a new theory of business?
▪ It seems however, that adequate professional preparation can only emerge as the result of developing the relationship between theory and practice.
▪ In chapters 7, 8, and 9 we use the differentiated products approach to develop a theory of trade.
explain
▪ He explained the theory of Mastery of Learning, about which he'd spoken before.
▪ Then I will explain the theory.
▪ Can anyone explain the divergence of theory and advice?
▪ This article does not propose to explain the theory behind profit maximisation with price discrimination.
▪ The increase in vapour pressure with temperature can be explained in terms of the kinetic theory.
▪ The diversity of crime accounts for the unconvincing nature of attempts to explain it by all-encompassing theories.
▪ This book explains the relevant theory and related it to classroom activities designed to improve students' discourse skills.
▪ A rising yield curve can be explained by liquidity preference theory.
formulate
▪ One is that it should incorporate Feynman's proposal to formulate quantum theory in terms of a sum over histories.
▪ By the middle of the decade, they had formulated their auteur theory, which gave a new gloss to film studies.
▪ To answer these questions, we have to formulate a theory of the determinants of growth.
▪ A consistent theory of how gravity affects light did not come until 1915, when Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity.
▪ Yet Marx and Engels' determination to formulate general theories eventually made Marxism one of the most successful transnational ideologies.
▪ However, all this was changed when Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity in 1915.
▪ They think, observe, formulate theories, make predictions, and do experiments.
support
▪ Many authors have used the distribution of particular carbonates to support particular theories of continental distribution in the past.
▪ The high core temperatures could also be used to support a theory that became fashionable among geophysicists during the l980s.
▪ There does, however, appear to be very little evidence to directly support such theories which thus remain largely speculative.
▪ But there is little evidence to support that theory.
▪ This case supports the theory that functional disturbances of the thymus may have a role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.
▪ The numbers seem to support the theory that Grand Forks voters wanted change.
▪ The most blatant form of selection occurs when a study includes only those cases that support the theory.
▪ Analysts pointed out that there is little historical evidence to support this theory.
test
▪ And testing, mandatory in theory, is not widespread.
▪ They conduct studies with laboratory animals or human volunteers to test their theories or treatments for fatness.
▪ It uses them to test theories in high-status, male-identified areas of psychology, like achievement and self-esteem.
▪ It became possible to test theories about nervous system functions.
▪ In order to test these theories two further stages are required.
▪ But there never has been such a comprehensive study to test the theory.
▪ Parallel demonstration of theory tests the fruitfulness of theory across a range of countries.
▪ To test that theory and several others, the researchers developed and administered a questionnaire to the workers.
PHRASES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
pet project/theory/subject
▪ Both grants represented pet projects of two council subcommittee members.
▪ Different chemists prefer different pet theories, and there is no shortage of theories.
▪ Even as the trajectory of his thought kept rising in the early seventies, the clock was ticking on his pet project.
▪ Even those Hippocratic treatises which inveigh against Presocratic dogmatism are themselves just as dogmatic where their own pet theories are concerned.
▪ His pet project is a biotechnology institute in which state funding will be matched by contributions from the Schering drug company.
▪ Monitoring the telephone conversations of the Kremlin hierarchy had become one of his pet projects over the last few years.
▪ No organization likes being told that it has got to hold back its expansion or abandon some pet project.
▪ The proposals are seen as a pet project of the right wing of the Conservative Party and Conservative students' groups.
the big bang theory
the germ of an idea/theory/feeling etc
▪ It represents the germ of an idea which someday might explode into a national objective.
working definition/theory/title
▪ A pragmatist judge will find room in his working theory of as if legal rights for some doctrine of precedent.
▪ A useful working definition has been provided by the Department of Trade and Industry in Britain.
▪ As a working theory this is impregnable, whether considered sceptically or superstitiously.
▪ Despite the difficulties, the teacher needs a rough working definition.
▪ Is that a reasonable working definition of Paradise?
▪ Like I say, it's just a working title.
▪ The Household of Faith was Brideshead's working title.
▪ We can, however, offer a very general working definition, which seems to feature in most discussions.
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ Atkin taught political theory at Hunter College.
▪ Darwin's Theory of Evolution
▪ Einstein's theory of relativity
▪ It's my theory that the murderer knew his victim quite well.
▪ music theory
▪ There's a theory that Kennedy was killed by the CIA.
▪ There have been a lot of theories about the meaning of dreams.
▪ This theory helps to explain how animals communicate with each other.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ A hypothesis should be related to a body of theory.
▪ For it is very difficult to specify just how falsifiable a single theory is.
▪ Several theories of planetary formation include the possibility of disturbance to axial spins during the late stages of formation of a planet.
▪ That Leeds was working within the constraints of this theory as early as 1912 is often overlooked.
▪ This is so: but the take-off theory over-simplifies the real process.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Theory

Theory \The"o*ry\, n.; pl. Theories. [F. th['e]orie, L. theoria, Gr. ? a beholding, spectacle, contemplation, speculation, fr. ? a spectator, ? to see, view. See Theater.]

  1. A doctrine, or scheme of things, which terminates in speculation or contemplation, without a view to practice; hypothesis; speculation.

    Note: ``This word is employed by English writers in a very loose and improper sense. It is with them usually convertible into hypothesis, and hypothesis is commonly used as another term for conjecture. The terms theory and theoretical are properly used in opposition to the terms practice and practical. In this sense, they were exclusively employed by the ancients; and in this sense, they are almost exclusively employed by the Continental philosophers.''
    --Sir W. Hamilton.

  2. An exposition of the general or abstract principles of any science; as, the theory of music.

  3. The science, as distinguished from the art; as, the theory and practice of medicine.

  4. The philosophical explanation of phenomena, either physical or moral; as, Lavoisier's theory of combustion; Adam Smith's theory of moral sentiments.

    Atomic theory, Binary theory, etc. See under Atomic, Binary, etc.

    Syn: Hypothesis, speculation.

    Usage: Theory, Hypothesis. A theory is a scheme of the relations subsisting between the parts of a systematic whole; an hypothesis is a tentative conjecture respecting a cause of phenomena.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
theory

1590s, "conception, mental scheme," from Late Latin theoria (Jerome), from Greek theoria "contemplation, speculation; a looking at, viewing; a sight, show, spectacle, things looked at," from theorein "to consider, speculate, look at," from theoros "spectator," from thea "a view" (see theater) + horan "to see," possibly from PIE root *wer- (4) "to perceive" (see ward (n.)).\n

\nEarlier in this sense was theorical (n.), late 15c. Sense of "principles or methods of a science or art" (rather than its practice) is first recorded 1610s (as in music theory, which is the science of musical composition, apart from practice or performance). Sense of "an intelligible explanation based on observation and reasoning" is from 1630s.

Wiktionary
theory

n. 1 (context obsolete English) Mental conception; reflection, consideration. (16th-18th c.) 2 (context sciences English) A coherent statement or set of ideas that explains observed facts or phenomenon, or which sets out the laws and principles of something known or observed; a hypothesis confirmed by observation, experiment etc. (from 17th c.)

WordNet
theory
  1. n. a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"

  2. a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices" [syn: hypothesis, possibility]

  3. a belief that can guide behavior; "the architect has a theory that more is less"; "they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales"

Wikipedia
Theory

Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking. Depending on the context, the results might for example include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several different related meanings.

A theory can be normative (or prescriptive), meaning a postulation about what ought to be. It provides "goals, norms, and standards". A theory can be a body of knowledge, which may or may not be associated with particular explanatory models. To theorize is to develop this body of knowledge.

As already in Aristotle's definitions, theory is very often contrasted to "practice" (from Greek praxis, πρᾶξις) a Greek term for "doing", which is opposed to theory because pure theory involves no doing apart from itself. A classical example of the distinction between "theoretical" and "practical" uses the discipline of medicine: medical theory 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.

In modern science, the term "theory" refers to scientific theories, a well-confirmed type of explanation of nature, made in a way consistent with scientific method, and fulfilling the criteria required by modern science. Such theories are described in such a way that any scientist in the field is in a position to understand and either provide empirical support (" verify") or empirically contradict (" falsify") it. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge, in contrast to more common uses of the word "theory" that imply that something is unproven or speculative (which is better characterized by the word 'hypothesis'). Scientific theories are distinguished from hypotheses, which are individual empirically testable conjectures, and scientific laws, which are descriptive accounts of how nature will behave under certain conditions.

Theory (mathematical logic)

In mathematical logic, a theory (also called a formal theory) is a set of sentences in a formal language. Usually a deductive system is understood from context. An element ϕ ∈ T of a theory T is then called an axiom of the theory, and any sentence that follows from the axioms (T ⊢ ϕ) is called a theorem of the theory. Every axiom is also a theorem. A first-order theory is a set of first-order sentences.

Theory (science)
Theory (clothing retailer)

T heory (stylized as theory and known in Japan as ) is a New York-based men's and women's contemporary fashion label which sells clothes and accessories. The brand currently has 221 retail locations around the world, with global sales approaching $1 billion in 2014. The company’s headquarters and flagship boutique are located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

Theory (poem)

"Theory" is a poem from Wallace Stevens's first book of poetry, Harmonium. It was first published in 1917, so it is in the public domain.

The instances are instances of imagination at work, as in the creation of a poem. They are not instances of a scientific theory, for they represent the particularizing quality of the imagination, not the generalizing that takes place in scientific reasoning. (This is itself a generalization from the theoretical or "scientific" perspective being minorized, which the line "Women understand this" also partakes of.) They may allude to a theory about poetry to the effect that it should be local, engaging the environment one has roots in. (See the main Harmonium essay about localism.) But the instances are so loosely connected to any particular locale that they suggest the theory's refutation (as unconvincing as the theory premised on locale is to begin with). The poet's imagination can go anywhere.

Buttel interprets the poem as one of Stevens's attempts to approach the rhythms of prose, as part of a strategic understatement that moves into a poem in an offhand, `anti-poetic' way. He sees that the instances must carry the strength of the theory, but he says nothing about how to understand theory in Stevens's specific sense, and nothing about what strength amounts to in this context.

Compare the opening line to Byron's assertion in the first lines of Canto III, Stanza LXXII of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "I live not in myself, but I become / Portion of that around me."

Theory (disambiguation)

The word theory refers to a speculative explanation or to a confirmed explanation. In academic usage, the word theory refers to analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and making predictions in various fields of study:

  • Mathematical theory, a self-consistent body of definitions, axioms, theorems, examples, and so on
  • Theory (mathematical logic), a set of sentences (theorems) in a formal language
  • Scientific theory, a principle or body of principles for explaining observed facts or phenomena, such as cell theory and the theory of gravity
  • Philosophical theory, the collective statements underlying a philosophy, school of thought, or belief system
  • Literary theory, often just called "theory" by those in the field
  • Theories in computer science, such as computational complexity theory, computability theory, and theory of computation

Other uses:

  • Theoria in theological discussions
  • Theory (clothing retailer)
  • A type of argument in Policy debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate

Usage examples of "theory".

Court, in conformity with the aforementioned theories of economics and evolution, was in fact committed to the principle that freedom of contract is the general rule and that legislative authority to abridge the same could be justified only by exceptional circumstances.

Their theory is confirmed by the cases in which two mixed substances occupy a greater space than either singly, especially a space equal to the conjoined extent of each: for, as they point out, in an absolute interpenetration the infusion of the one into the other would leave the occupied space exactly what it was before and, where the space occupied is not increased by the juxtaposition, they explain that some expulsion of air has made room for the incoming substance.

In Hegel, the synthesis of the theory of modern sovereignty and the theory of value produced by capitalist political economy is finally realized, just as in his work there is a perfect realization of the consciousness of the union of the absolutist and republican aspects-that is, the Hobbesian and Rousseauian aspects-of the theory of modern sovereignty.

As our most powerful particle accelerators can reach energies only on the order of a thousand times the proton mass, less than a millionth of a billionth of the Planck energy, we are very far from being able to search in the laboratory for any of these new particles predicted by string theory.

Thus, all the while that Galileo was inventing modern physics, teaching mathematics to princes, discovering new phenomena among the planets, publishing science books for the general public, and defending his bold theories against establishment enemies, he was also buying thread for Suor Luisa, choosing organ music for Mother Achillea, shipping gifts of food, and supplying his homegrown citrus fruits, wine, and rosemary leaves for the kitchen and apothecary at San Matteo.

I must confess that I am only acquainted with the peculiarities of the male by theory and reading.

I had not thought of that theory it seems to me so plausible, now that you mention it, that I think the officers will show rare acumen if they adopt it.

As the points of affinity of the bizcacha to Marsupials are believed to be real and not merely adaptive, they are due on my theory to inheritance in common.

I will then formulate that theory, and adduce the supporting evidence which I hope and think you will consider conclusive.

So Cap had a theory to explain the strange sequences the Judy Lab had revealed: chimpanzee, human, and hybrid all in the same animal, laced with sequences from the adenovirus that did most of the splicing.

And another theory on Smith is he feeds on the female adulation in one part of his lifeand revels in it.

And if the other dogmas of that system be contained in a sacred book, such as the Alcoran, or be determined by any visible authority, like that of the Roman pontiff, speculative reasoners naturally carry on their assent, and embrace a theory, which has been instilled into them by their earliest education, and which also possesses some degree of consistence and uniformity.

In these conditions a general theory of the state could not but be aleatory and conceived only in the most abstract terms.

The old theory was that oxytocin caused the uterus to contract so violently that the amniotic fluid was forced out of the water bag and into the veins of the womb.

He had never accepted the theory of andromedotoxin poisoning that Grace had put forward and was even less happy with the idea of a fatal dose of arsenic delivered through the medium of the unfortunate pheasant and, what was more, he knew Grace could never have subscribed to these theories either.