Philosophy and science: similarities and distinctions

Philosophy and science: similarities and distinctions

Narrow specialization in science – the phenomenon relatively young by historical standards. Analyzing science history since the most ancient times, it is easy to make sure that all sciences – from physics to psychology – grow from one root, and this root – philosophy.

Speaking about scientists of the Ancient world, they are collectively called most often philosophers. It does not contradict that at their works there are ideas which from the modern point of view can be referred to physics (Democritus's idea about atoms), psychology (the treatise by Aristotle ("About soul"), etc. – these ideas are distinguished anyway by universality of outlook. It concerns even those ancient scientists for whom a certain scientific specialization admits. For example, about Pythagoras speak as about mathematics, but even he looked for general laws of a peace arrangement in numerical ratios. For this reason it could extend so naturally the mathematical ideas in the field of musicology. In the same way Platon tried to build model of an ideal society, proceeding from the cosmogonic ideas.

Such extreme generality was characteristic of philosophy in all ages of its existence, including the present. But if in antiquity it included rudiments of all future sciences, then now these "seeds" gave shoots long ago and grew in something independent that forces to ask about a philosophy ratio with other sciences.

Philosophers give different answers to this question. Some consider philosophy fundamentals of all sciences which problem is to create for them methodological base, to define the direction of scientific approach to the world.

According to other approach, philosophy – one of sciences, but it possesses the specific categorial device and methodology. At last, the third point of view is that the philosophy is not science in general, and essentially a different way of knowledge of the world. Both the philosophy, and science explore the world, establishing the objective facts and generalizing them. During generalization certain laws are output. Existence of laws – the main sign of science distinguishing it from area of knowledge. There are laws and in philosophy – in particular, three laws of dialectics. But the level of generalization of the facts in science and in philosophy differs. Any science investigates a certain party of the universe, concrete level of existence of matter therefore the consistent patterns determined by science it is impossible to apply another to an object of research. For example, it is impossible to consider development of society in terms of biological laws (such attempt were undertaken, but it always led to emergence of very doubtful ideas – such as social Darwinism). Philosophical laws are universal. For example, the Hegelian law of unity and conflict of opposites is applicable also to the structure of atom in physics, and to sexual reproduction in biology. Fundamentals of science – an experiment. In it the objective facts are established. In philosophy the experiment is impossible owing to extreme generality of its object of research. Studying the most general laws of existence of the world, the philosopher cannot allocate a certain concrete object for an experiment therefore the philosophical doctrine can be not always reproduced in practice. Thus, the similarity of philosophy and science is obvious. As well as the science, philosophy establishes the facts and regularities and systematizes knowledge of the world. The distinction consists in extent of communication of scientific and philosophical theories with the concrete facts and practice. In philosophy this communication has more mediated character, than in science.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team