from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Greek antiquity, an embassy sent on a mission of state associated with religion, such as an appeal to an oracle.
  • n. Philosophic speculation: used by Ruskin to express the higher moral appreciation of beauty, as distinguished from æsthesis, which stands for the sensual appreciation. See the extract.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Truth is first of all a thing of seeing, of understanding, of "theoria," as it is called by the Greek tradition.

    Archive 2008-01-20

  • Within Greek philosophy, theoria was used to mean contemplation or speculation, as opposed to action – this is very similar to the non-technical definitions we see today. 1610 saw the first recorded use of theory to mean “principles or methods of a science or art (rather than its practice)”, while in 1630, it was upped all the way to “an explanation based on observation and reasoning”.

    The Language of Science – it’s “just a theory”

  • The word theory comes from the Greek theoria (θεωρία), apparently first coming into its more modern use in the works of Plato, where theoria meant “contemplation, speculation, a looking at, things looked at”.

    The Language of Science – it’s “just a theory”

  • Such an incarnation of spirit in matter remains a delusion that both Nazi Germany and Communist Russia sought to promulgate as the demonic parody of what in theoria, as distinct from praxis, Jung's psychology had affirmed.

    Romanticism, Alchemy, and Psychology

  • Likewise, according to Lossky, Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, 202, praxis and theoria — regarded also as action and contemplation — are distinct yet inseparable in Christian wisdom. back

    Architecture and Memory: The Renaissance Studioli of Federico da Montefeltro

  • The fundamental meaning of the Greek word ‘theoria’ actually has to do with seeing.

    The Idea of Design in Nature: Science or Phenomenology? By Jakob Wolf

  • This idea of sokushinjôbutsu represents the apex of Kûkai's synthesis of Buddhist theoria and praxis.


  • Today its theory and practice, a while back it was praxis, theoria, and poiesis, but more recently, Ruskin (in Modern Painters) was defining the field with sensual, intellectual, and moral.

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  • One might think that Aristotle would be happy with that sort of everlasting activity, but his theoria is much different from the Enlightenment encyclopedic project of amassing 'knowledge' through books and passing 'knowledge' on through them.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • This he elucidated by discussing the fate of translations of the Greek work theoria.



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