Philosophy as a Science

by Adrian M. McGlinchey || Re-posted from original, dated: May 18, 2020.

Image: The Thinker – Rodin, The Imaginative Conservative

Philosophy is often considered a science, but this is difficult to prove when one must compare with an ordinary science, for example biology, chemistry, or physics. This is a question that turns into a burning issue among the scientists and linguists all over the world. Can philosophy be a science? What does philosophy operate with? It operates with categories, which can be as wide and as interchangeable as one can only imagine. Ordinary science operates with definitions, which are quite limited in their specific field of research. Ordinary science uses terms and laws of that very science to continue the research, uniting with the other branches of science only in rare cases. Yet Philosophy creeps into every science in trying to arrive at its conclusions.

We cannot correctly call philosophy a pseudo-science, for it also uses hypothesis and arguments to state an opinion, as do the natural sciences. But there is the obvious thing: there are laws in philosophy which will never be absolute or immutable, for the science changes with the age, and the needs, beliefs, and requirements of the citizens may change more gradually than the empirical data. To prove your opinion, you can write the definition essay and state all the facts and arguments you know to prove one way or another. This is also a nice way to research the problem and see what the solution is. But you must research it carefully; otherwise definition essays will not be fruitful, especially when the supporting facts undergo a process of change over time.

As with all ‘sciences’, philosophy has gone through its stages of development. Some scientists believe that the crib of philosophy was mythology and religion. We may see the principles of life in some primitive morals stated in myths, we may also see that a statement is true at the time, and philosophy continues to develop out of social beliefs and norms, while the progress of scientific facts marches on. Philosophy is a science which is learned by many a college student to establish his/her own philosophy of life. It is quite exciting to find answers to ever existing questions: who am I? What do I know? What can I know? What am I destined to do? Here is one more interesting observation. We can see that most famous philosophers were researching other science fields also. For example, Freud, Jung, Kafka, and others were doing research in linguistics and social sciences. Their numerous creations are the pride of human history for they revealed some secrets that remained undiscovered for a long time before their great contributions. Philosophy, however, needs to be informed by the other branches of scientific inquiry to keep updated on the assumptions that its propositions are based upon. The other sciences need philosophy to evaluate the significance of scientific hypothesis.

There are so many currents and branches, so many schools of philosophy, that it is hard to decide, which one you prefer and agree with. This much depends on the country, family, society you live in. This is one more difference between philosophy and other natural sciences. The law of natural science is stable for any country; gravity exists in India, same as in Brazil. Philosophy is a hard science, for it is difficult to analyse the sense of dogma versus fact when reading it only once. Despite these anomalies, we can now at least see a working relationship between philosophy and the natural sciences. It is of course, not easy to bring all these elements together in an infallible way. If all else fails, we can, when invited to a social event, quote one of the eminent doctors of philosophy, and make a great impression of an educated and intelligent personality that our host(s) will admire.

Picture Credits

The Thinker – Rodin, The Imaginative Conservative;
as accessed on Yahoo Search, sourced from:
https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrxhZV_B8Jezm0A_94W5gt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBtdXBkbHJyBHNlYwNmcC1hdHRyaWIEc2xrA3J1cmw-/RV=2/RE=1589803007/RO=11/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.theimaginativeconservative.org%2f2016%2f12%2fwhy-philosophy-thaddeus-kozinski.html/RK=2/RS=7omwZXm9r6sJIL085tI7SJxIOBY-

Bright Idea Light Globe Meme, University of Guelph (College of the Arts);
as accessed on Yahoo Search, sourced from:
https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrwJUhdCcJeLGwAbnQW5gt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBtdXBkbHJyBHNlYwNmcC1hdHRyaWIEc2xrA3J1cmw-/RV=2/RE=1589803485/RO=11/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.uoguelph.ca%2fphilosophy%2f/RK=2/RS=5fZU7lweSkHvTRY0os2TPLs2Pls-

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