So: there’s a split built-in to “theory”: The split between “thinking” and “doing”.
Conception is interesting too because the “thought is conceived” notion comes from dissections of the brain as they noticed the similarities between the womb and the brain. The shapes are similar, therefore the “children of the brain” are “conceptions” or “concepts”.
Yet “In theory” has a particular meaning that’s a little different:
” in theory, ideally; hypothetically: “
What is “ideally”? What’s an “ideal”? Depends on usage. The adjective came first. The ideal [something] is “pertaining to an archetype or model” – this ties into what Jenny Lorraine Nielsen said: preferring to use the word “model”.
Yet, I think Jes Scott‘s usage is more tied into the newer *noun* form of “ideal”: the hypothetical perfect person thing or state: The standard or model of perfection, coming from a translation of Kant.
— online etymology dictionary entry below —
early 15c., “pertaining to an archetype or model,” from Late Latin idealis “existing in idea,” from Latin idea in the Platonic sense (see idea). Senses “conceived as perfect; existing only in idea,” are from 1610s. Ideagenous “generating ideas” (1839) is a word from early psychology, apparently coined by Dr. Thomas Laycock, house surgeon to York County Hospital [“Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal,” vol. lii].
“(hypothetical) perfect person, thing, or state,” 1796, in a translation of Kant, from ideal (adj.). Hence “standard or model of perfection” (1849).
“In a hypothetically perfect state where everything works, everything works”
hang on though. hypothetical… what about that? Hypothetical is based on “hypothesis’. What’s hypothesis?A proposition assumed and taken for granted”, ultimately based upon Greek hypothesis, “base, groundwork, foundation”. A supposition.
“Under” + “Thesis”.
So: an assumption? Is that all “in theory” is? An assumption? I feel like I just made a big circle.
1590s, “a particular statement;” 1650s, “a proposition, assumed and taken for granted, used as a premise,” from Middle French hypothese and directly from Late Latin hypothesis, from Greek hypothesis “base, groundwork, foundation,” hence in extended use “basis of an argument, supposition,” literally “a placing under,” from hypo- “under” (see hypo-) + thesis “a placing, proposition” (from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- “to set, put”). A term in logic; narrower scientific sense is from 1640s.
If I assume everything works then in theory everything works”
[because “to assume” and “in theory” are the same]
But where’s the assuming taking place? Brain babies.