Types of science
Science is a set of knowledge that is organized in a systematic and methodical way in different areas of study. It starts from the observations, experiments and analyzes that show the facts or data studied, and from which theories, principles, hypotheses, study models, among others, have emerged.
In this way, different types of science can be distinguished according to their object of study, such as formal sciences, factual sciences, natural sciences and social sciences.
The formal sciences are those that start from the ideas, inferences or abstract thoughts that human beings formulate, in a rational and coherent way, and that can be applied to various objects or subjects of study, even real ones.
Formal sciences rely on deduction as a study method, and their statements are made up of systems or sign relationships that allow their content to be deductively and non-empirically demonstrated or proven, hence they are considered self-sufficient.
Therefore, its information is validated through abstract structures that allow the organization and rational analysis of the content to obtain a logical truth, that is, all the possibilities in which a pre-established fact or form can be combined are taken into account.
Examples of formal science are logic, mathematics, statistics, even computing.
The factual sciences or empirical sciences are intended to study, understand and describe a natural phenomenon or a real event, which is observable and measurable in a specific time and space, therefore it does not rely on abstract or rational thought as in formal sciences, although sometimes it can resort to them.
The factual sciences make use of the statements that expose work or research processes, therefore their development is empirical, that is, it involves a practical or experimental method to validate or not a hypothesis.
Therefore, these sciences allow the verification of data or content, even the representation of some facts or phenomena.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that some specialists state that the factual sciences should include the natural sciences and the social sciences.
The natural sciences are those that study nature and its phenomena. In these sciences, the scientific method is applied to carry out various studies, in which both the most general and the most specific aspects of nature and living beings in general are taken into account.
In this way hypotheses can be formulated and consequences deduced that must be verified through experimental tests to prove whether they are valid or not. Hence, it is of great importance to carry out observations and experiments that allow describing, exposing, explaining, verifying and predicting phenomena or events that can be simple or complex.
From the natural sciences, laws and basic principles of cause and effect can be established and applied, which expose how studies should be carried out around certain study objectives.
Likewise, the natural sciences can be supported by various rational or abstract ideas that allow them to better understand the reality under study.
Among the natural sciences, physics, chemistry, biology (and other sciences that study the various forms of life such as botany or zoology), psychology, astronomy and geology stand out.
The social sciences or human sciences are those that focus on the study of human behavior, as well as the various cultural and social processes that have developed throughout the history of mankind.
These sciences study people as individual and social entities taking into account their behavior in various situations, their values, belief systems or practiced cults, political positions, economic activities, the types of organization to which they belong, among others.
Likewise, in the social sciences, cultural, material and immaterial manifestations are also taken into account, as part of the cultural expressions and cultural identity of individuals.
The practice and study of these sciences leads to the analysis, description and understanding of various actions of an individual and social nature that imply an ethical and moral reflection on the behaviors and actions that people take under certain circumstances.
In this sense, studies in the areas of anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, history, communication, among others, form part of the social sciences. These sciences are supported by quantitative or qualitative research, as the case may be.