Essay on Classification of Sciences – It is humanly impossible for any individual to master the whole of knowledge with all its complexity and diversity.
One can only attempt to understand more about one or the other branch of knowledge. There are different sciences to deal with different branches of knowledge. These sciences are of two kinds: (i) Physical Sciences, and (ii) Social Sciences.
The physical sciences deal mostly with the natural inanimate objects. They are regarded as more precise, exact and less dubious. Ex: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geography, Astronomy, etc.
The physical scientists make use of the scientific method in order to acquire knowledge in their respective fields. They can conduct experiments to verify the facts. Theories and laws of universal validity are established more easily and accurately in physical sciences.
They provide less scope for doubt and uncertainty. Prediction is not only possible, but also easy and accurate. The problem of objectivity can be overcome easily. The relationship between cause and effect is relatively more clear here.
The term Social Science is often loosely applied to any kind of study which is concerned with man and society. But, in the strict sense, it refers to “the application of scientific methods of the study of intricate and complex network of human relationships and the forms of organization desired to enable people to live together in societies”.
As Young and Mack say, “By Social Science we mean those bodies of knowledge compiled through the use of scientific method which deal with the forms and contents of man’s interaction”. Ex: History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology etc.
To be social is to interact, to participate in group life. All human beings are social. People interact with other people in order to survive. All human beings live in society, that is to say, every person is a member of the same human group or some social environment.
The physicist, the chemist, the astronomer and the biologist study the universe, in which we live and the elements of which it is composed, in an attempt to understand our physical environment.
Similarly, the social scientist studies the environment in which we live in, and attempts to understand human society and to predict how people will interact in a given set of circumstances.