The empirical sciences they are those that verify or justify their hypotheses through punctual experience and the perception of the world through the senses. Hence its name, from the ancient Greek word empeiria which means ‘experience’. The method par excellence of this type of science is the hypothetical-deductive. For example: biochemistry, astronomy, oceanography.
Saying hypothetical-deductive method It assumes that the empirical sciences are born from experience and observation of the world, and through these same processes they will verify their postulates, trying to predict or deduce the results obtained, for example, through the experimental reproduction of an observed phenomenon. .
Difference Between Empirical Sciences and Other Sciences
The empirical sciences are distinguished from formal sciences in its greatest effort in the verification of hypotheses through experiential verification, that is, from experience and perception, although this does not necessarily imply experimentation.
In fact, all experimental sciences they are necessarily empirical sciences, but not all empirical ones are experimental: some may use non-experimental methods of verification, such as the observational I the correlational.
In principle, the empirical sciences are opposed to the formal sciences in that the latter do not require an empirical verification and justification mechanism, but instead undertake the study of coherent logical systems whose rule systems are not necessarily comparable with those of the physical world. natural, as is the case in mathematics.
Types of empirical sciences
The empirical sciences are divided into two large branches:
- Natural Sciences. They undertake the study of the physical world and its laws, of everything that we attribute to “nature”. They are also known as “hard” sciences due to their necessary accuracy and testability.
- Human or social sciences. In contrast, the social or soft sciences deal with the human being, whose principles of action do not respond to universally describable laws and mechanisms, but to trends and classifications of behavior. They offer a much less deterministic idea of the real than the hard sciences.
Examples of empirical sciences
- Chemistry. It is the science in charge of the study of the laws that govern matter and the relationships between its particles (atoms and molecules), as well as the mixing and transformation phenomena to which they are susceptible. It is also a natural science.
- Geography. Social science in charge of the description and graphic representation of the surface of our planet, including the seas and oceans and the different territories, reliefs, regions and even societies that constitute it.
- Economy. It deals with the study of resources, the creation of wealth and the distribution and consumption of goods and services, in order to satisfy the needs of the human race. It is also a social science.
- Physical. Understood as the description of the forces that act in the real world from applied mathematical models, to formulate laws that describe and predict them. It is a natural science.
- Biology. The so-called science of life, since it is interested in the origin of living beings and their various processes of development, evolution and reproduction. It’s a natural science, of course.
- Physical chemistry. Born from both physics and chemistry, it covers those spaces of experience and experimentation that require a double look at matter and its processes, in order to determine both its internal and external processes. It is logically a natural science.
- geology. Science that is dedicated to the study of the processes of the different layers of the surface of our planet, paying attention to its particular geochemical and geothermal history. It is also a natural science.
- Medicine. This science is dedicated to the study of health and human life, trying to understand the complex functioning of our body from tools borrowed from other natural sciences, such as chemistry, biology or physics. It is certainly a natural science.
- Biochemistry. This branch of science combines the precepts of chemistry and biology to delve into the cellular and microscopic operations of living organisms, studying the way in which the atomic elements of their bodies operate in specific processes. It is a natural science.
- Astronomy. Science that deals with describing and studying the relationships between space objects, from stars and distant planets to the laws that can be derived from the observation of the universe external to our planet. It is another natural science.
- Oceanography. The study of the oceans, from a biological, chemical and physical perspective, trying to describe as best as possible the unique laws with which the marine universe operates. It is also a natural science.
- nanoscience. This is the name given to the study of systems whose scales are practically submolecular, with the purpose of understanding the forces that occur between particles of said dimensions and trying to manipulate them through nanotechnology.
- Anthropology. The study of man, broadly speaking, attending to the social and cultural manifestations of their communities throughout their history and the world. It is a social science, that is, a “soft” science.
- Sociology. The social science par excellence, dedicates its interest to human societies and the different phenomena of a cultural, artistic, religious and economic nature that take place in them.
- Psychology. Science that focuses on the study of the mental processes and perceptions of the human being, taking into account their physical and social context and their different stages of constitution or development. It is also a social science.
- History. Science whose object of study is the past of humanity and that approaches it from archives, evidence, stories and any other support of the time. Although there is debate about it, it is normally accepted to consider it a social science.
- Linguistics. Social science concerned with the various human languages and man’s forms of verbal communication.
- Right. Also called legal sciences, they usually include the theory of law and the philosophy of law, as well as the possible approaches to the different systems of legal regulation created by the different States to govern the social, political and economic behavior of their population.
- library science. It deals with the study of the internal processes of libraries, of the management of their resources and internal systems of ordering books. It should not be confused with library science and is also a social science.
- Criminology. Despite being a trans and multidisciplinary discipline, it is often included in the social sciences. Its object of study is crime and criminals, understood as understandable human aspects from the tools of sociology, psychology and other related social sciences.