Types of Knowledge: What is Scientific Knowledge?

Types of Knowledge: What is Scientific Knowledge?

Scientific knowledge is the information obtained by a certain method systematically in order to reach general knowledge in order to know in a pre-determined area.

As it can be understood from the definition, scientific knowledge is the generally accepted, objective and scientific method obtained from one person to another. At the same time, this type of information consists of systematic and consistent information. In short, we can say that science is the information that humanity provides.

Scientific knowledge can be divided into three science groups according to the subject and the method and purpose it uses to reach the information.


  1. Formal sciences,
  2. Natural sciences,
  3. Human sciences.

Formal Sciences

These sciences are   also called ideal sciences . Sciences such as mathematics and logic fall into this group. The subjects that these sciences deal with are design beings that are not in nature, cannot be perceived by the senses, and are only in thought. For example, the subjects of mathematics, numbers, shapes, the subject of logic, concepts, propositions and reasoning have no equivalent in nature. So we call them ideal beings that exist only in thought. Mathematics and logic do not give us information about the outside world.

Instead, it examines and examines the relationships between non-existent entities such as line, point, and number. Logic does not care about the content of propositions and whether it complies with the equivalent in the outside world. What is important for logic is not the correctness of judgments, but the correctness of inter-judicial relations.
Ideal beings, which form the subject of formal sciences, can not be examined by observation and experiment since they are only in thought. As a result, formal sciences often use deduction.

Natural Sciences

These sciences are content-related sciences as opposed to formal sciences. Under the title of natural sciences, we can list physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, biology. The basic feature of natural sciences is their factuality. Being factual  means that the issues it deals with can be observed directly or indirectly. Accurate acceptance of information is only possible if it has been proven through experimentation and observation.

These sciences generally use the induction reasoning method. In other words, it goes from individual events to general conclusions that explain these events and laws. The aim of the natural sciences is to understand and explain the structure and functioning of nature. The principle it is based on is the principle of  causality . According to this principle, the same causes always give the same results under similar conditions. From this principle, it tries to understand the relations between the events that occur in nature; then tries to express these relations in the form of laws of nature.

Human sciences

These sciences are the sciences that deal with human from different aspects. Sociology examining society, social events and phenomena; history about human history; anthropology about culture; the geography that deals with the physical, demographic, social and economic outlook of the human world; psychology etc. which deals with human behavior. they are among the human sciences. As it can be understood from here, these sciences are the sciences related to human beings and their actions. These sciences treat human beings as a conscious entity that makes society, creates culture and makes history. Since it deals with human and human events, it is very difficult to attain absolute and generally accepted results.

See also:

–  What are the characteristics of scientific knowledge?

Source:  Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Grade “Introduction to Philosophy” and “Introduction to Sociology” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Other Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)