Table Two: Four World Hypotheses of Stephen Pepper
Source: Boje, David M., Alvarez, Rossana C, and Schooling, Bruce 1999 "Reclaiming Story in Organization Narratologies and Action Sciences." Chapter to appear in Robert Westwood (Ed.) Language and Organization.

Note: This version includes historians classified by Hayden White's use of Pepper's typology.
Dimensions Analytical Theories Synthetic Theories


  1. Root Metaphor: Similarity
  2. Explanation: order and function are real; disorder and dysfunction unreal or exceptions.
  3. Exemplars: Plato, Aristotle
  4. Categories:
  • Immanent Formism - Theories of ideal types and classifications 
  • Transcendent Formism - Blueprint growth models; ideal plans.
  1. Truth Theory: Correspondence - Mirror theory from metaphor to reality.
  1. Root Metaphor: Historic Event in the present.
  2. Explanation: Only horizontal theory; focus on change and novelty in the unfolding immediate event.
  3. Exemplars: Pragmatists like Peirce, James, Bergson, Dewey & Mead
  4. Categories:
  • Quality (spread, change, & fusion) 
  • Texture( strands, contexts, referents)
5. Truth Theory: Operationalism - verifiable hypotheses and working theories.


  1. Root Metaphor: Machine
  2. Explanation: Elements are parts in a mechanistic, spacio-temporal framework.
  3. Exemplars: Descartes, Galileo, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Berkeley & Reichonbach.
  4. Categories: 
  • Configuration of parts 
  • Lawfully ordered
  1. Truth Theory: Causal Adjustment - Abstract general terms and formulae.
  1. Root Metaphor: Integration
  2. Explanation: Historic events are steps in organic process toward ideal progress (thesis-antithesis-synthesis of Hegel). 
  3. Exemplars: Hegel, Schelling, Green, Bradley, Bosanquet & Royce.
  4. Categories: Fragments result in nexuses, leading to contradictions, and an organic whole
  5. Truth Theory: Coherence - each level of integration resolves contradictions of the levels below.

Fifth World Hypothesis is added Source (Boje, 1995 5th World Hypothesis and Boje & Luhman 1999 "Narativity: 5th Wrold Hypothesis" under review.
  1. Root Metaphor: Story emplotment (characterizations, plot line, and context).
  2. Explanation: Focus on the reinterpreting of events into macro-stories by the more powerful, as the less powerful act out resistance. These are resisted by microstories. 
  3. Exemplars: Nietzsche, White, Ricoeur, Denzin, Tyler
  4. Categories:
  • Pre-storied elements. 
  • Restorying of previous story fragments. 
  • Reinterpretations of story to emplot other events. 
  • Recover macropolitical, economic, and social (race, gender) contexts. 
  • Stories have ideological footprints.
      5. Truth Theory: Those with the power decide what story others will live in and by are resisted by those living their own story