Is Science the Subject of Philosophy, Is Science the Subject of Philosophy?June 28, 2021
In the beginning, all sciences existed as different fields of thought within the field of philosophy. In this context, a philosopher is a person who is related to almost every field of science and who thinks about every state of existence. For example, Aristotle can be cited as an example of this type of philosopher as a philosopher who has written books on almost every subject and whose books are accepted as references in the fields of science in which they are written.
As scientific knowledge developed, the branches of science declared their “independence” from philosophy. For example, physics, which was previously called “natural philosophy”, then chemistry, biology and other sciences separated from philosophy one by one and emerged as disciplines in their own right. After this, social sciences began to emerge from the influence of philosophy. After these developments, philosophy became almost ineffective and unnecessary in the 19th century.
After this time, philosophers began to deal with the classification of sciences. The sciences, which both broke away from philosophy and distanced themselves from each other as much as possible, could not form a whole concept of the universe in the human mind as they divided the universe as a whole. This fragmentation was reflected in the industrial world, social life and even the human personality. By classifying the sciences, philosophy wanted to show the common points and ties between them, and to bring the sciences closer to each other. All the sciences were concerned with the different existences of the field of existence. All sciences were united in goal, method and scientific attitude. Classification would make this even more clear.
In this period, the science classification made by two Germans is very well known. Wilhelm Windelband, one of the Kantian philosophers, divided the sciences into a priori (rational) and empirical (experimental) sciences in terms of method. The rational sciences were mathematics and philosophy. Experimental sciences were also divided into two: historical sciences and natural sciences. This last distinction was due to a difference in subject matter rather than method.
Wilhelm Dilthey also divided the sciences into two in terms of method: spiritual sciences and natural sciences. The spiritual sciences used the method of understanding, while the natural sciences used the method of explanation. Language, literature, art, philosophy, law and all historical sciences were counted as spiritual sciences. However, here, for example, psychology was included in both science groups, while logic and mathematical sciences were in between. Philosophy, which could not reach a conclusion with the classifications of science, dealt with the theory of science, which criticized the methods of sciences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It should not be forgotten that at many points in history, the history of science and the history of philosophy are identified. After the 19th century, when a distance was opened between them, philosophy, which tried to make a general statement about the world of existence by collecting scientific data, is now trying to approach science.
Well-known scientists of the last century such as Einstein, Max Born, Niels Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, J. Monad have written philosophical books in their fields.
Science, using Bacon’s induction, Galilean experiment and mathematical methods, achieved great success in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Newtonian positivist view of science says that science fully reflects the external objective phenomenon; however, discoveries in the field of quantons in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Einstein’s theory of relativity began to shake the positivist view of science.
Science may not be an accurate description of external phenomena. The concepts we put on the world of being might not be correct. Many questions arose, such as four-dimensional time instead of three-dimensional time, curved geometries instead of plane geometry, and whether the electron should be taken as a wave or as a particle in modern physics. There were many physical phenomena that did not fit the inductive method and needed to be investigated.
The idea of change came to science, which was defended as an immutable, universal knowledge system. Peirce: “Science is science because it changes.” said. The scientists’ opinion could also be wrong. Bacon: “We must be prepared to ask nature questions and change our minds if they are not valid.” principle came to the fore.
Was science revealing the laws inherent in the structure of the world, or was man projecting the laws of his own mind onto the world? When the person made (subjective) explanations suitable for his own mind, he was faced with the opposite aspects of objectivity and the sets of facts that did not fit here, while the explanations in accordance with full objectivity were consistent.
Kant’s classical view that “truth is the joint product of both the external world and human thought” was almost equally defended by Einstein.
Science and philosophy were converging again. However, it should not be forgotten that science and philosophy are different disciplines. The main differences between science and philosophy are as follows:
– The subject of every science is clear; natural events and events arising from the social relations of people constitute the subject of various sciences. The subject of every science is limited. The subject of philosophy is universal; Anything can be the subject of philosophy.