In Chapter 1 I attempted to ‘problematize’ the idea of theory and question some basic assumptions with a perspective that emphasized a much more discursive and socially constructed basis to the notion of theory. What I intend to do in this chapter is turn my attention to how the perspectives of Chapter 1 help us better understand different kinds of theories and how they relate to each other through a typology. As I touched upon in Chapter 1, there is an assumption that planning as a profession needs some form of theory or thinking to underpin its claim to have specialist knowledge (one of the prerequisites of being a profession). Every field of endeavour has its history of ideas and practices and its traditions of debate. These act as a store of experience, of myths, metaphors and arguments, which those within the field can draw upon in developing their own contributions, either through what they do, or through reflecting on the field. This ‘store’ provides advice, proverbs, recipes and techniques for understanding and acting, and inspiration for ideas to play with and develop.
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