1

I'm looking for a word that describes something that is not yet a scientifically proven fact, but people intuitively think to be true. The word is not "hypothesis" as I'm not describing The Scientific Method. Also hypothesis implies something that is potentially disprovable. I'm looking for a stronger term. Is there such a word or a phrase?

EDIT:
Here is an example:
"Hard work does not guarantee success".
People think (or know) this to be true even though it's not yet scientifically provable or disprovable. It's a general truth, not a hypothesis or a theory.

  • 3
    1. Single word requests require an example phrase. 2. Have you tried looking up "hypothesis" in a thesaurus? Were any of the words any good? Please include your research. 3. Something which people "think is true" is a "belief". I suspect this isn't the word you're looking for, but it may also be worth trying in a thesaurus. – AndyT Aug 12 '16 at 9:42
  • 1
    In my understanding, anything "people intuitively think to be true" usually turns out not to be true, so it doesn't make sense to say it's "not yet a fact". The reason The Scientific Method is so useful is because it's the only reliable way of separating facts from intuition, wishful thinking, etc. An idea / explanation which isn't "potentially disprovable" is unlikely to be worth thinking about at all. – FumbleFingers Aug 12 '16 at 12:01
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth- then you have never heard of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem? – cobaltduck Aug 12 '16 at 14:32
  • 1
    @DJClayworth: I realise there are still people who believe "truth" can be discovered through faith, intuition, religious texts, etc., but such things don't really have much to do with OP's stated context of not yet a scientifically proven fact. Please don't raise irrelevant objections to the justification I gave for my closevote. – FumbleFingers Aug 12 '16 at 15:06
  • 1
    I'm not talking about faith and intuition. Plenty of fields of study, including reputable academic ones, discover truth that is in no way amenable to the scientific method. You overstated your case. – DJClayworth Aug 12 '16 at 15:40
11

Truism

From wikipedia:

A truism is a claim that is so obvious or self-evident as to be hardly worth mentioning, except as a reminder or as a rhetorical or literary device, and is the opposite of falsism.
The word may also be used with a different sense in rhetoric, to disguise the fact that a proposition is really just an opinion.
Similarly, stating an accepted truth about life in general can also be called a truism.

7

Axiom: A statement or proposition that is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true

Merriam/Webster: a rule or principle that many people accept as true

Wikipedia states: An axiom or postulate as defined in classic philosophy, is a statement (in mathematics often shown in symbolic form) that is so evident or well-established, that it is accepted without controversy or question.

Note that this is not the pure mathematical definition, which is simply a "given" which may not be true but is assumed true in the current context.

  • 1
    I'll note that I posted the above answer at a point in time when Brannon Benge had deleted both of his answers which proposed "axiom". I did this because I felt that "axiom" was a valid answer and needed to be put forward. Brannon has since undeleted and then redeleted his answers several times, and, at this point of time, at least one is undeleted. I'm a little confused as to what's going on with regard to his answers and the others referencing them. – Hot Licks Aug 25 '16 at 23:51
  • You'll find an explanation on this meta post. – NVZ Aug 27 '16 at 12:06
  • That meta post doesn't explain much. – Hot Licks Aug 27 '16 at 12:52
  • I agree, it doesn't. – NVZ Aug 27 '16 at 19:54
1

Theory, either in a colloquial context or scientific. Per wikipedia :

"A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed, preferably using a written, pre-defined, protocol of observations and experiments. Scientific theories are the most reliable, rigorous, and comprehensive form of scientific knowledge."

  • I'm looking for a stronger term. "Theory" and "Hypothesis" are similar. You can take a look at my edit for an example. – mahasamatman Aug 13 '16 at 19:36
1

I guess I'll add some rarer words that have similar meanings to the words being mentioned:

    merriam-webster.com definition:

    apothegm

    noun | ap·o·thegm | \ˈa-pə-ˌthem\

    Definition of APOTHEGM
    : a short, pithy, and instructive saying or formulation : APHORISM

    oxforddictionaries.com definition:

    gnome

    noun | \ˈnōm\

    Definition of GNOME
    : a short statement encapsulating a general truth : MAXIM
  • Welcome to our Q&A site. We're a little different from forums with a lot of chatting and commenting. An answer is expected to be a self-contained answer, not a commentary on other posts. When you have gained enough reputation, just 50, you will gain the privilege of commenting on other people's posts than your own. Until then, please use answers only for your answer, not for commentary. Thank you. – tchrist Aug 26 '16 at 3:09
0

A long-established theory is a scientific law.

A law can be disproven, but it's been upheld many times up to now.

protected by tchrist Aug 26 '16 at 3:10

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.