Philosophy – Science Relation

Philosophy – Science Relation

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

When defining the relationship between philosophy and science, we can say that philosophy and science were intertwined in the beginning, and that many of the first great philosophers were also scientists.

For example; Thales (Tales, 625-545 BC) is a mathematician, Archymedes (Archimedes) is a physicist. Because of this close relationship between philosophy and science, there have been some who describe philosophy as the mother of sciences. The separation of sciences from philosophy started with mathematics as it is known. Then the natural sciences and finally the social sciences were separated from philosophy.

Disciplines that determined their original field, method and purpose were separated from philosophy one by one. Despite this separation, this closeness between science and philosophy continues today, even if it is not at the same level. A discipline called philosophy of science has emerged from the close relationship of these two fields of knowledge.


Philosophy and science have similar and different characteristics. We can state similar features as follows: There is a parallelism between philosophy and science in terms of purpose. Both of them are not content with ready-made and stereotypical information, but they are in an effort to understand, explain and interpret the truth with their own methods in an active and critical manner. Again, both use logical principles such as identity, non-contradiction, and the impossibility of the third state meticulously. In both, the aim is to understand the world and human life.

There are also important differences between philosophy and science. These differences are in terms of subject and method. Science starts from generally valid and observable facts. Using the experimental method, he confirms his conclusions by going back to the facts. In philosophy, on the other hand, it can act from human experience and beings, which is a kind of phenomenon. But when philosophy tries to justify its conclusions, it turns to logical analysis, not facts. The philosopher cannot experiment. The reliability of the information presented by the philosopher is checked not by experiment, but by internal consistency.

Scientific knowledge revealed by science is the source of technology and thus provides practical benefit to humanity. However, since measurement cannot be made in philosophy and equivalence cannot be established between the measured ones, a technology cannot be established based on it. The task of philosophy is not to provide a practical benefit to man, but to try to find the essence of the subject and the meaning of the concepts.

Philosophy is based on a universal knowledge, it deals with existence in its holistic way. Science, on the other hand, examines existence by breaking it into parts. Each science takes a part of being as its subject. Philosophy wants to know the essence of being. For this, to understand existence, “what is?” asks the question. For example, “What is an entity?” Like, “What is a human being? Science is not concerned with the essence of existence, but with the cause-effect relationship between events and facts. It asks the question “how?” in order to understand existence.

SIMILAR Aspects of Philosophy and Science
Both try to justify themselves based on reason and the laws of thinking.
Both explore the universe, man and life consciously, methodically and systematically.
In both, information that is not filtered through criticism is not considered safe.
Both make generalizations by reaching some principles and laws with post-critical concepts and abstractions.
DIFFERENT Aspects of Philosophy and Science
Philosophy; while questioning the universe, man and life; Science limits itself to facts. He divides the universe into parts according to his field of study.
Philosophy tries to explain the reality behind facts and events. Science aims to reach laws related to nature by establishing causal links between natural events.
It uses methods such as speculative and rational thinking in philosophy. Sciences, on the other hand, use inductive and deductive methods.

The table format of this comparison is as follows:

Philosophy – Science Relation

If we take a broad explanation, we can say that:

The relationship between philosophy and science has developed by showing some differences in the historical process. It is not possible to see the distinction between science and philosophy in the early ages. It is clear that philosophy, like scientific fields of study, arises from the human need to know, understand, research, answer some questions and develop.

Philosophy, by its essence, examines the subjects that other branches of knowledge examine in one aspect by using general concepts (Büyükkaragöz et al., 1998, p.61).

Philosophy has developed from age to age, from region to region, showing some differences. In the First Age, in the Ancient Greek civilization, philosophy made it its job to try to find the truth. On the other hand, thinkers in the East aimed to use philosophy to think differently and to develop harmonious relations with the social environment.

In the Middle Ages, it is seen that religion and beliefs settled in the center of philosophy. In this context, philosophy has dealt with the discussions of God, the sacred and existence. With the secularized culture in the modern world, science began to settle in the center; it is seen that religion, science and philosophy are gradually separated from each other (Cevizci, 2007a, pp.12-13).

In ancient times, science and philosophy were together. philosophy man