Sinonimi: scientific discipline | scientific knowledge
ETYM French, from Latin scientia, from sciens, -entis, p. pr. of scire to know. Related to Conscience, Conscious, Nice.
1. A particular branch of scientific knowledge; SYN. scientific discipline.
2. Any domain of knowledge accumulated by systematic study and organized by general principles; SYN. scientific knowledge.
Any systematic field of study or body of knowledge that aims, through experiment, observation, and deduction, to produce reliable explanation of phenomena, with reference to the material and physical world.
Activities such as healing, star-watching, and engineering have been practiced in many societies since ancient times. Pure science, especially physics (formerly called natural philosophy), had traditionally been the main area of study for philosophers. The European scientific revolution between about 1650 and 1800 replaced speculative philosophy with a new combination of observation, experimentation, and rationality.
Today, scientific research involves an interaction among tradition, experiment and observation, and deduction. The subject area called philosophy of science investigates the nature of this complex interaction, and the extent of its ability to gain access to the truth about the material world. It has long been recognized that induction from observation cannot give explanations based on logic. In the 20th century Karl Popper has described scientific method as a rigorous experimental testing of a scientist’s ideas or hypotheses (see hypothesis). The origin and role of these ideas, and their interdependence with observation, have been examined, for example, by the us thinker Thomas S Kuhn, who places them in a historical and sociological setting. The sociology of science investigates how scientific theories and laws are produced, and questions the possibility of objectivity in any scientific endeavor. One controversial point of view is the replacement of scientific realism with scientific relativism, as proposed.
By Paul K Feyerabend. Questions concerning the proper use of science and the role of science education are also restructuring this field of study.
Science is divided into separate areas of study, such as astronomy, biology, geology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, although more recently attempts have been made to combine traditionally separate disciplines under such headings as life sciences and earth sciences. These areas are usually jointly referred to as the natural sciences. Physics and chemistry are sometimes separated out and called the physical sciences, with mathematics left in a category of its own. The application of science for practical purposes is called technology. Social science is the systematic study of human behavior, and includes such areas as anthropology, economics, psychology, and sociology. One area of contemporary debate is whether the social-science disciplines are actually sciences; that is, whether the study of human beings is capable of scientific precision or prediction in the same way as natural science is seen to be.