The Limits of Theory: abstraction is a tight squeeze
No matter how detailed, theoretical concepts are inherently reductive and incomplete. Trying to contain reality with words is like trying to stuff a middle-aged body (well, mine anyway) into an old prom dress. We do the best we can, letting out material and inserting panels, but reality will always strain at theory’s seams.
This is the nature of concepts: they are abstract distillations. If they fully represented reality, they would be as infinitely complex as reality itself. They’d be impossible to wrap our minds around, which would pretty much defeat their purpose.
Theory bubbles up from the collective social mind (this is true even if they articulated by particular individuals) as we struggle to understand our changing conditions and correct previous concepts that no longer apply. But then the next concept, in turn, inevitably has its own limitations, and will also be replaced.
Unless we accept the limitations and unstable nature of theory, we risk turning it into rigid doctrine or religion (stiff and confining like taffeta, to push the dress metaphor too far). Then we become the annoying true believer who follows people down the street waving a leaflet, wanting to enlighten (insisting upon it!) the ignorant world with the one and only Truth.
No one likes that person.