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Should the name of theories be capitalized? Does this depend on convention, the particular theory itself, or whether or not it contains a proper name?

I appreciate any input, thank you!

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In both my science and English language training (at an English grammar school), I was taught that theory names do not have to be capitalized. Some title Einstein's theories about relativity as the Special Theory of Relativity and the General Theory of Relativity, but you will find them named as just the special theory of relativity and general theory of relativity in scientific writing.

Incidentally, this is true in other languages as well, except German, which capitalizes all nouns regardless of historical importance.

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  • French hardly capitalizes anything. And it seems this includes les théories, as well as les lois de la nature. Commented Nov 8, 2016 at 22:23
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If the theory really has a name (it is unique and therefore definite), then it should be capitalized: the Theory of Evolution (Darwin's). If it definite merely by being possessed, then it need not be capitalized: Einstein's theory of gravity.

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