Progression of knowledge
I have a simplified model of the progression of knowledge. Knowledge somehow needs to start somewhere as informal knowldge or tentative knowledge and eventually end up as formal knowledge, something seriously believed to be true.
In my simplified model knowledge progresses (loosely) in the following incremental steps:
- An observation or a thought, something that just pops into your head.
- An idea, something you think about.
- A concept or belief, something you have given some serious thought to and believe is likely to be valid and true.
- A conjecture, a relatively formalized and structured form of a concept.
- A theory, a fully formalized version of one or more conjectures.
- A hypothesis, a prediction based on a theory that can be tested to prove or disprove part or all of a theory.
- A law, conclusion, or generalization based on the theory and tested through hypotheses, experiments, experience, and the passage of time.
So, one or more statements can be categorized as to how developed they are in my knowledge progression.