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The 6 differences between science and philosophy

The 6 differences between science and philosophy

March 25, 2024

Science and philosophy are two fields of knowledge creation that are often confused each.

Many times philosophers and scientists are simply taken as experts of everything and nothing, intellectual authorities in any subject, and this makes the boundaries between their functions are blurred. Next, we will see what exactly allows to distinguish science from philosophy and what are its areas of action.

  • Related article: "Differences between Psychology and Philosophy"

Main differences between science and philosophy

These differences are very basic and general , and it should be borne in mind that both science and philosophy are very broad and diverse areas of knowledge, so it is not always easy to generalize about them.

However, in global terms all forms of science have a series of characteristics in common that bring them closer to each other than to philosophy, and the same goes for this last discipline.

1. One wants to explain reality, the other manipulates ideas

Philosophy, unlike science, does not depend on empirical tests. This means that while all the work of scientists revolves around whether their hypotheses and their theories are confirmed by experience, Philosophers do not need to perform this kind of testing to develop your work.

This is because scientists try to find the basic mechanisms by which reality works, while philosophers focus instead on investigating the relationships between certain groups of ideas based on basic theoretical assumptions.

For example, the work of René Descartes was developed from an exercise in logic: there is a subject, because otherwise he could not think himself.

2. One is speculative and the other is not

Philosophy is basically based on speculation, to a greater or lesser degree, while science, although it also incorporates a certain degree of speculation, limits the power of this through empirical testing. That is, in the second those ideas and theories that do not fit with the observed and do not explain things as well as others, are no longer used, since they are considered to have reached an impasse.

In philosophy, however, it is possible to take for granted any theoretical starting point (as crazy as it seems at first) if that allows you to create a map of ideas or a philosophical system that is interesting from some point of view.

3. Philosophy deals with moral

Science tries to answer questions, not to point out which ethical positions are the best. Your task is a description of things in the most objective and aseptic way possible.

Philosophy, on the other hand, incorporates the subject of ethics and morality for thousands of years. It is not only responsible for building knowledge; It also tries to answer questions about what is right and what is wrong .

4. Answer different questions

Science asks very specific questions and they are formulated in a very careful way. In addition, it tries to use very clear and specific definitions in the vocabulary that it uses, so that it is clearly known if a theory or hypothesis is fulfilled or not.

Philosophy, on the other hand, he asks much more general questions than science , and usually uses concepts much more difficult to define that, to be understood, first require knowing the philosophical system to which they belong.

5. They have different needs

For science to develop, it is necessary to invest a lot of money in it, since this type of research is very expensive and requires very expensive instruments, such as special machines or a staff of people who spend several months working in coordination to respond to A very specific question.

Philosophy, on the other hand, is not so expensive , but instead requires a social climate in which it is feasible to initiate certain types of philosophical research without suffering censorship. In addition, as philosophy does not usually have a character as applied as science, currently it is not easy to be able to earn a salary.

6. One has given way to the next

Science has emerged from philosophy, since at the beginning all forms of knowledge were a mixture of systematic empirical testing, philosophy and myth.

This is clearly seen, for example, in the way of thinking proper of the Pythagorean sects, which investigated the mathematical properties while at the same time ascribing an almost divine character to the numbers and linking their existence to that of a hereafter in the qe hypothetically. they inhabited souls without bodies (since the mathematical rules are always valid,regardless of what the subject does).

The split between science and philosophy came from the Scientific Revolution , at the end of the Middle Ages, and since then it has been developing more and more. However, it has never become totally autonomous from philosophy, since the latter looks after the epistemological conditions of the discoveries that are made and the conclusions that they allow to reach.

Bibliographic references:

  • Blackburn, S., Ed. (1996) The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Bunnin, Nicholas; Tsui-James, Eric, eds. (2008). The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Popkin, R.H. (1999). The Columbia History of Western Philosophy. New York, Columbia University Press.
  • Rutherford, D. (2006). The Cambridge Companion to Early Modern Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
  • Sober, Elliott. (2001). Core Questions in Philosophy: A Text with Readings. Upper Saddle River, Prentice Hall.

The Relationship between Science and Philosophy (March 2024).

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