Theory as a special unit in scientific knowledge: ontology and methods

Authors: Lebedev S.A. Published: 21.03.2023
Published in issue: #2(100)/2023  
DOI: 10.18698/2306-8477-2023-2-829  
Category: The Humanities in Technical University | Chapter: Philosophy Science  
Keywords: scientific theory, theoretical reality, ideal object, theory construction methods

The paper considers scientific theory as a special knowledge unit not logically deduced from experience and having the constructive character. The theory possesses a qualitatively different ontology compared not only to the sensory knowledge ontology, but also to the empirical knowledge ontology. Its ontology lies in the ideal reality consisting of many mental objects with their inherent properties, relationships and laws. Ontological reality of a theory is the logically organized reality, which description should have the endeictic character. The entire set of ideal objects of a theory should be subdivided into two subsets: the set of initial objects and the set of derived objects constructed on their basis. The relationship type between these two sets of objects is as follows: logical or constructive-genetic reduction of all derived objects of the theory to its original objects. Reduction relation should also appear between all statements of the theory, i.e. logical reduction and, accordingly, derivation of certain statements from the others. Ideally, a theory is the deductive-axiomatic system of knowledge. As a result, the theory becomes the most definite and demonstrative-true unit of scientific knowledge and the reference reality in relation not only to empirical and sensory reality, but also to the objective reality.

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