Types of Science

Science is a body of knowledge that is systematically and methodically organized into different areas of study. It is based on the observations, experiments and analyzes that the facts or data studied yield, and from which theories, principles, hypotheses, study models, among others, have emerged.

In this way, different types of science can be distinguished according to their object of study, such as formal sciences, factual sciences, natural sciences and social sciences.

formal sciences

The formal sciences are those that they start from the ideas, inferences or abstract thoughts that human beings formulatein a rational and coherent way, and that can be applied to various objects or subjects of study, even real ones.

The formal sciences are based on deduction as a method of study, and their statements are made up of systems or relationships of signs that allow their content to be demonstrated or proven deductively and not empirically, hence they are considered self-sufficient.

Therefore, its information is validated through abstract structures that allow the organization and rational analysis of the content to obtain a logical truth, that is, all the possibilities in which a pre-established fact or form can be combined are taken into account.

Examples of formal sciences are logic, mathematics, statistics, even computing.

factual sciences

The factual sciences or empirical sciences have the purpose of studying, understanding and describing a natural phenomenon or real eventthat is observable and measurable in a specific time and space, therefore it does not rely on abstract or rational thought as in the formal sciences, although it can sometimes resort to them.

The factual sciences use the statements that expose work or research processes, therefore their development is empirical, that is, it entails a practical or experimental method to validate or not a hypothesis.

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Therefore, these sciences allow the verification of data or content, including the representation of some facts or phenomena.

On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that some specialists argue that the natural sciences and the social sciences should be included among factual sciences.

Natural Sciences

The natural sciences are those that study nature and its phenomena. In these sciences, the scientific method is applied to carry out various studies, in which both the most general and the most specific aspects of nature and living beings in general are taken into account.

In this way, hypotheses can be formulated and consequences deduced that must be verified through experimental tests to prove whether they are valid or not. Hence, it is of great importance to carry out observations and experiments that allow us to describe, expose, explain, verify and predict phenomena or facts that can be simple or complex.

From the natural sciences, laws and basic principles of cause and effect can be established and applied, which expose how studies should be carried out around certain study objectives.

Likewise, the natural sciences can be supported by various rational or abstract ideas that allow them to better understand the reality under study.

Among the natural sciences, physics, chemistry, biology (and other sciences that study the various forms of life such as botany or zoology), psychology, astronomy and geology stand out.

Social Sciences

The social sciences or human sciences are those that focus on the study of human behavioras well as in the various cultural and social processes that have developed throughout the history of mankind.

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These sciences study people as individual and social entities taking into account their behavior in various situations, their values, belief systems or cults practiced, political positions, economic activities, the types of organization to which they belong, among others.

Likewise, in the social sciences, material and immaterial cultural manifestations are also taken into account, as part of the cultural expressions and cultural identity of individuals.

The practice and study of these sciences leads to the analysis, description and understanding of various actions of an individual and social nature that imply an ethical and moral reflection on the behaviors and actions that people take in certain circumstances.

In this sense, studies around the areas of anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, history, communication, among others, are part of the social sciences. These sciences are supported by quantitative or qualitative research, as the case may be.

See also:

  • Social Sciences
  • Science
  • science features