One scientific definition of theory is “a set of interrelated concepts, definitions, and propositions that present a systematic view of events or situations by specifying relations among variables, in order to explain and predict the events or situations” (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2008, p. 26). Its component is an attempt to answer a query which starts from asking a question to searching for answers. Philosophy, per Butts (2018) is “the searching for and communicating a viewpoint” (p. 95). It is critical thinking, a search for knowledge, and can be a question to a validity of a set of belief. However, a model is an intentional generalization of an occurrence or incident, which may not necessarily be exact; framework, on the other hand is an outline of that occurrence that provides lay-outs and no explanation (Nilsen, 2015, Discussion section, para 2-3).
Theory is an assumption that one thing is deemed factual or a reality. Its ulterior purpose is to give answers and credit them as the truth; while philosophy, as mentioned, is seeking of explanation through questioning. With philosophy, one can come up with theory. Philosophy is used to be able to question different beliefs within a field of practice. Theories are made based on a certain philosophy is. For instance, in nursing, a nurse will be able to practice based on a specific nursing theory based on her field of practice. Frameworks and models are made to conceptualize theories. A model is broader than framework as it provides an explanation to a phenomenon; framework is just an outline which is only descriptive but does not provide any explanation.
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Butts, J. B. (2018). Components and levels of abstraction in nursing knowledge. In J. B. Butts & K. L. Rich (Eds.), Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (3rd ed. (p. 95). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlet Learning, LLC.
Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (2008). Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Nilsen, P. (2015). Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks. Retrieved from doi: 10.1186/s13012-015-0242-0