Anyway: As a social science (part time) educator of the pragmatic (as opposed to positivist and social constructivist) sort, I’d say that “facts” are statements about the surrounding world, but more often than not, facts are not directly observable or easily interpretable. And rest assured: It is possible to write a Ph.D.-thesis on the exact nature of facts.
Similarly, I’d describe a “theory” as a way of explaining1 the connections between causes and effects. That something is a theory doesn’t in itself mean that it is wrong or right, proven or unproven.
And: Both facts and theories should be treated with the same care as mine sweepers apply to explosives.
- And let’s leave the explanation/understanding issue for later [↩]