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Classification of Sciences

The term “science” also denotes individual branches of scientific knowledge (one of them is psychology), which differ from each other in a number of essential characteristics. In order to further determine the place of psychology in the system of sciences, let us consider this in more detail.

First of all, sciences differ in their object. Under the object of a science is understood that side of reality, on the study of which this science is directed. Often the object is fixed in the very name of science. For example, geology is the science of the earth, biology is the science of the living nature, etc.

At the same time, no science is able to describe its object in its entirety for various reasons: cognition is infinite, as the world is infinite, and no object can be described in all respects; In this regard, a specific science is forced to limit the scope of its interests, otherwise it is in danger of "spreading" on areas that are not able to cover.

For example, biology does not deal with the structure of the atoms of molecules of living organisms or the laws of the correct thinking of a person - a living being, leaving it, respectively, to physics and logic, or going out to discuss them in “borderline” sciences like biophysics).

In addition, any science is limited in its approach to the object by the tradition in which it was formed, by the categorical (conceptual) apparatus, the language that has developed in it, by the means of analysis and empirical research that dominate it, etc. (Forced specialization of sciences is a serious problem in terms of building a unified scientific picture of the world: the difference in approaches and languages ​​makes it difficult to generalize; therefore, the “boundary sciences” play an important role).

In this regard, the object of science distinguishes its subject, that is, by what sides the object under study is represented in science. If an object exists independently of science, then the object is formed together with science and is fixed in its system of categories. Let's look at this with an example.

Biology - the science of wildlife. Nature exists regardless of whether biology exists and, in general, whether someone is trying to study it, that is, objectively. Biology, however, studies only what it considers to belong to living nature and its manifestations, and this depends on the dominant theories.

Thus, the object and the subject of science do not coincide: the subject does not fix all the sides of the object, but it can paradoxically include what is missing in the object.

For example, alchemy studied the laws of the transmutation of metals, now in most cases considered unreal.

In a certain respect, it can be said that the development of science is the development of its subject. The problem of the relationship between the object and the subject of science is one of the controversial. In the literature, one can find the opinion that a subject is that part of an object that is distinguished by science as being specific to itself.

For example, a person acts as an object of anthropology, biology, ethnography, physiology, logic, psychology, etc., reflecting in him his (subject). It seems to us, however, that here we are talking not about the object of science, but about a possible object of study (for example, psychology studies not only man).

Let us return, however, to the distinction of sciences according to the principle of an object. We use the classification proposed by B. M. Kedrov. Cedar distinguishes two main scientific objects: they are nature (organic and inorganic) and man (that is, human society and thinking). The line between them, of course, conditional.

According to the features of these objects, the natural sciences and the humanities stand out; the latter are divided into social and philosophical. Thus, there are three main sections of scientific knowledge, each of which represents a complex of sciences.
In addition to the three main sections, there are large sections located at the junction of the main sections. This classification is presented in the form of the so-called "triangle of sciences". This is a simplified scheme, in particular, so far from it, psychology has been excluded, to which B. M. Kedrov assigns a special place.

It is likely that the question may arise: why did the sciences of man appear to be separated from the sciences of nature? And should any science about man be considered as humanitarian? After all, a person may well be represented as a natural being endowed with a physical body in which diverse biochemical processes take place. Of course, a number of human sciences (for example, human anatomy and physiology) are natural. Speaking of the humanities, we mean that they study something specific to man and not amenable (or, say more cautiously, difficultly amenable) to the principles of explanation and knowledge that are accepted in the sciences of nature. If the changes taking place with natural objects do not depend on the will of the objects themselves (the will, as is commonly believed, is inherent only in man), then man, as S. L. Rubinstein put it, is the center of the restructuring of being, that is, the subject. A stone rolls down a mountain not because it wants it - external forces act on it.

Of course, a person is also affected by external forces, but his activity is determined not only (and often not so much) by them, but by his inner position, his values, aspirations, worldview, and vision of life perspective; in other words, man is a self-determined being, that is, man himself determines his life.

The study of animal communities does not provide an adequate understanding of the life of human society (although attempts to draw analogies existed). Understanding a person as a special phenomenon, which is fundamentally different from an animal, requires a special approach to its study. If, when studying nature, one can try to reproduce in laboratory conditions some of its fragments — in the sense that it is possible to simulate situations of exposure of an object to certain external factors, and changes that occur with an object as a result of this, to be considered an analogue of what actually happens in nature — then in relation to a person, this is at least not enough, and in some humanities such reproduction is impossible at all - for example, in history. If, in studying natural phenomena, it is appropriate to “exclude” separate fragments from research for nature, then man as the most complex spiritual and physical being should ideally be considered in all the diversity of his individual and social being — which, of course, is extremely difficult, but as a direction of reflection and Research can be given.

Thus, it is possible to speak not only about the natural and human sciences, distinguished by object: we can speak of two different approaches, two ways of scientific thinking - natural science and humanitarian. As you will see later on, this is directly related to psychology.

Along with the classification of sciences by object, other ways of distinguishing them are possible. For example, the division of sciences on fundamental and applied is accepted.

• Fundamental (sometimes they are called “pure”) are considered the sciences, knowing the world without regard to how practical the use of knowledge obtained is possible.

• Applied sciences, by contrast, are practice-oriented, applying to it the knowledge gained in the basic sciences, and serve the immediate needs of society.
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Classification of Sciences

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