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The problems of knowledge as it applies to the natural and social sciences. Can one really equate the social and natural sciences?

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Introduction

THE PROBLEMS OF KNOWLEDGE AS IT APPLIES TO THE NATURAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES. CAN ONE REALLY EQUATE THE SOCIAL AND NATURAL SCIENCES? When dealing with natural and social sciences it is important to note their differences. 'Natural Sciences' are those that deals with the objects, phenomena, or laws, objects and processes of nature and the physical world, such as biology, physics, chemistry, and geology; they are work on a more strictly empirical level. The 'social sciences' are the study of human society and of individual relationships in and to that society, they deal with such studies as sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and history. This also includes the study of human behaviour. When looking at the two sciences, it is also important to note that there is a significant human factor which is involved in soft/social sciences, which lacks to exist in the hard/natural sciences. The main difference that distinguishes the two sciences is the fact that the natural sciences can be tested in quantities which means immediately, and often you may change a certain variable to come up with results which you subsequently may test against your theory. ...read more.

Middle

Natural Sciences base their research on hard evidence, facts, experiments, observation and constants etc... On the other hand the social scientists would strongly disagree and say that their methods are ineffective. Social sciences base their research on experience and are interpreted by humans. They tend to have more to do with behaviour and interaction and are based on intuition and experience. A very simple example to make would be: If a social scientist were to go out side, he or she may say that it is could out side. This is because a social scientist bases his experiment on experience, and feeling and human intuition. However if a natural scientist were to go out side he or she may say that it is -12 degrees Celsius out here. This is because a natural scientist bases his experiments on hard evidence, variables, numbers, constants and precision. The problem of knowledge as is applied to the natural and social sciences is constant. There is a constant problem of knowledge between the two sciences, which therefore brings the sciences to an equal level. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is no basis for excluding the investigation of human actions from the maximal organisation of knowledge."2 The reader can see that Abel is obviously supporting the position of the social scientist, and to be perfectly honest I agree with his opinion. Abel is saying, that you need to validate and verify by evidence and justify by reasons. Both Natural sciences and social sciences are able to do this and therefore both are sciences. Since both are sciences they can be equated. To conclude this essay is easy to say that social sciences and natural sciences are both sciences, which means they can be quantified. Since they can be quantified, we are able to look at the problems of knowledge that they both entail, and it is evident that there are never ending problems with knowledge in both sciences. 865 Words 1 We see this in "Soft sciences are often harder that hard scientists" written by Jared Diamond. 2 Abel, R. Man is the measure, New York: 1976, The Free Press. ALEX DAY T.O.K II 21-10-02 ...read more.

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