etymology of theory


From Online Etymology Dictionary:

1592, “conception, mental scheme,” from L.L. theoria (Jerome), from Gk. theoria “contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at,” from theorein “to consider, speculate, look at,” from theoros “spectator,” from thea “a view” + horan “to see.” Sense of “principles or methods of a science or art (rather than its practice)” is first recorded 1613. That of “an explanation based on observation and reasoning” is from 1638. The verb theorize is recorded from 1638.

From Wikipedia:

The word ‘theory’ derives from the Greek ‘theorein’, which means ‘to look at’. According to some sources, it was used frequently in terms of ‘looking at’ a theatre stage, which may explain why sometimes the word ‘theory’ is used as something provisional or not completely resembling real. The term ‘theoria’ (a noun) was already used by the scholars of ancient Greece. Theorein is built upon ‘to theion’ (the divine) or ‘to theia’ (divine things) ‘orao’ (I see), ie ‘contemplate the divine’. ‘Divine’ was understood as harmony and order (or logos) permeating the real world surrounding us.


Written by teppo

July 11, 2006 at 4:38 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] etymology of theory […]


  2. Theory means looking at , so that include a true perception of the mind that is focused to find an mental scheme of vision.
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    paolo manzelli

    October 5, 2007 at 3:31 pm

  3. ERR



    October 25, 2007 at 11:32 am

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