Difference Between Philosophy and Science (With Table)

Over decades, many debates are going on, but among them, philosophy and science are two of the popular debates. The fight is generally between humanitarians and scientists. Some of them argue that science’s epistemological facet supersedes the philosophy’s dialectical analysis and vice versa.  

The difference between philosophy and science is quite slim, but there are also some distinctions nonetheless. Both of the subjects share a positive relationship compared to animosity. Even though they share some common grounds several differences are covered up in this article. 

Philosophy vs Science 

The main difference between philosophy and science is that the purpose of philosophy is to understand the nature of existence and the existing relationship between the two concepts. On the other hand, science is related to the phenomena of nature.   

The methods of philosophy utilize logical argumentation for the explanation of its principles. It is mostly involved with creating and thinking knowledge. It finds answers as well as general questions. Philosophy raises the question, and before finding out the answer, it processes. It generally deals with the relationship between our realities and existence. 

Science can be described as understanding and study of natural phenomena. Science is generally concerned with empirical data, which means data that can be repeated, tested, and observed. There is a particular course of action used known as the scientific method. By undertaking and observing an experiment, it produces knowledge through observation. 

Comparison Table Between Philosophy and Science 

Parameters of ComparisonPhilosophyScience
OriginEmerged from the fundamental search for knowledgeA branch of philosophy
DeriveFrom the Latin word “scientia”From the Greek word “Philosophia”
PractitionersPhilosophersScientists
Based onReasonFactual data
Deals withLogical analysisHypothesis testing

What is Philosophy? 

Philosophy can be described as the basic nature study of reality, existence, and knowledge. Philosophy can explain everything related to the world. According to some sources, Pythagoras was the person who coined this term. Philosophical methods consist of a systematic presentation, questioning, rational argument, and critical discussion. 

 Historically, it encompassed all the bodies of knowledge. From the time of Aristotle to the 19th Century, the “natural philosophy” encompasses physics, astronomy, and medicine. It is not so simple to define philosophy. In this kind of activity, reasons are utilized to understand and explore issues rational thinking or logic, nature of reality or metaphysics, moral good or ethics, limits of our understanding of epistemology and the nature of beauty or aesthetics, etc. 

The growth of universities related to modern research-led academic philosophy as well as other disciplines to specialize and professionalize. Several areas of investigation that used to be a traditional part of philosophy now become separate academic disciplines. The questions related to philosophy can be grouped into several branches.  

These types of groupings allow the philosopher to aim at a set of similar topics. They also interact with other philosophers interested in the same question. The divisions are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. In this, growth is a constant uphill battle for finding the truth. The progress of philosophy is measured when one theory replaces another by changing time. 

What is Science? 

As a study of natural phenomena, science has been there for not more than approx three centuries. The science which is called today was labeled at the start of its journey as natural philosophy. It makes effort for making sense of several phenomena. Scientific explanation needed help from equations and concepts that require proper study and explanation and cannot be understood by the person who does not belong to the science stream.  

The texts are much more complex, technical and require mathematical concepts understanding. Without philosophical baggage, there is no science, and that’s why it does not stand alone. It deals with understanding and story of natural phenomena in a manner empirical. In this, hypotheses advanced to natural phenomena account are verifiable and testable.  

Science tries to prove them to be objective truth or fact and find answers. In its method, certain hypotheses can be created by experiments that can be validated or proven as fact. But the hypotheses can also be falsified or wrong. The main aim is to extract the objective truth out of natural or existing occurring ideas. 

There are generally three branches of modern science, namely formal science, social science, and natural science. Each of them comprises several specialized yet overlapping disciplines that are scientific and possess their expertise and nomenclature. 

Main Differences Between Philosophy and Science 

  1. Philosophy aims to understand the nature of existence and the existing relationship between the two concepts. But science is only related to phenomena of nature.  
  2. Philosophy is used for the condition where observations and measurements cannot be applied. On the other hand, science is used for cases that require empirical validation.  
  3. Philosophy consists of questions related to objective and subjective. But when it comes to science, it is related to only some objective questions.  
  4. Knowledge can be generated by thinking in philosophy. On the flip side, science can also create knowledge but by observing.  
  5. The related areas of philosophy are nature’s logical reasoning of our reality, limitations of our thinking, ethics, and aesthetics, etc., whereas related areas of science are a natural phenomenon. 

Conclusion 

It can be concluded that both subjects of philosophy and science are going through the debate over the decades. The origin of philosophy is from the fundamental search for knowledge, while science is a branch of philosophy. The practitioners of philosophy are known as a philosopher, whereas scientists are the practitioners of science.  

The term philosophy is derived from the word namely, Philosophia, which means love for wisdom. But the term science is derived from the word Scientia which means knowledge. Philosophy is based on reason which generally deals with logical analysis. On the flip side, science is based on factual data, which commonly deals with hypothesis testing. 

References 

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=vJ1EEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA11&dq=philosophy&ots=Mnaz1LO74n&sig=XuM4LxqV19LgSY4-bOvxFIimU00
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=s13tBAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=science&ots=hH6DeoI5lz&sig=Gyv4Qbjx-bBGb4sS3-8dEI6WKFM
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