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Theories

  • Theories then are dangerous things.

  • Very dangerous things, theories.

  • ... the truth and value of a theory does not depend on the number of people who are interested in it — otherwise you might compare the number of people who follow the predictions of astrologers in the daily press with those who attend lectures by Einstein, and conclude that astrology was more valuable and true than physics.

    • Dorothy L. Sayers,
    • 1943, in Barbara Reynolds, ed., The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers, vol. 2 ()
  • Those who say theory and practice are two unrelated realms are fools in one and scoundrels in the other.

    • Ayn Rand,
    • 1945, in Michael Berliner, ed., Letters of Ayn Rand ()
  • Theories have nothing to do with life ...

  • It is obvious, that theory alone, can never make a good artist; and it is equally obvious, that practice unaided by theory, can never correct errors, but must establish them.

    • Emma Hart Willard,
    • speech to the Connecticut legislature, A Plan for Inproving Female Education ()
  • It is wiser, I believe, to arrive at theory by way of evidence rather than the other way round ... It is more rewarding, in any case, to assemble the facts first and, in the process of arranging them in narrative form, to discover a theory or a historical generalization emerging on its own accord.

  • Every theory is a self-fulfilling prophecy that orders experience into the framework it provides.

    • Ruth Hubbard,
    • "Have Only Men Evolved?" in Ruth Hubbard, Mary Sue Henifin, and Barbara Fried, eds, Women Look at Biology Looking at Women ()
  • You can never tell what will happen to a theory before you can get around to using it.

  • Einstein's theory of relativity ... may be the best-known not-known theory in existence.

  • Strange that theory and practice so seldom should accord.

  • Theories are like scaffolding: they are not the house, but you can not build the house without them.