One scientific definition of theory is “a set of interrelated concepts, definitions, and propositions that present a systematic view of events or situations by specifying relations among variables, in order to explain and predict the events or situations” (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2008, p. 26). Its component is an attempt to answer a query which starts from asking a question to searching for answers. Philosophy, per Butts (2018) is “the searching for and communicating a viewpoint” (p. 95). It is critical thinking, a search for knowledge, and can be a question to a validity of a set of belief. However, a model is an intentional generalization of an occurrence or incident, which may not necessarily be exact; framework, on the other hand is an outline of that occurrence that provides lay-outs and no explanation (Nilsen, 2015, Discussion section, para 2-3).
Theory is an assumption that one thing is deemed factual or a reality. Its ulterior purpose is to give answers and credit them as the truth; while philosophy, as mentioned, is seeking of explanation through questioning. With philosophy, one can come up with theory. Philosophy is used to be able to question different beliefs within a field of practice. Theories are made based on a certain philosophy is. For instance, in nursing, a nurse will be able to practice based on a specific nursing theory based on her field of practice. Frameworks and models are made to conceptualize theories. A model is broader than framework as it provides an explanation to a phenomenon; framework is just an outline which is only descriptive but does not provide any explanation.
Butts, J. B. (2018). Components and levels of abstraction in nursing knowledge. In J. B. Butts & K. L. Rich (Eds.), Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice (3rd ed. (p. 95). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlet Learning, LLC.
Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (2008). Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice (4th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Nilsen, P. (2015). Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks. Retrieved from doi: 10.1186/s13012-015-0242-0