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Classification of Sciences

The term "science" also refers to individual branches of scientific knowledge (psychology is one of them), 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, we consider this in more detail.

First of all, sciences differ in their object. By the object of a particular science is meant that side of reality, the study of which this science is aimed at. 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 wildlife, etc.

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

For example, biology does not deal with the structure of atoms of molecules of living organisms or the laws of the correct thinking of a person - a living creature, leaving this to physics and logic, respectively, or going out for discussion into “frontier” sciences such as 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, the methods of analysis and empirical research that dominate it, etc. . (The forced specialization of sciences poses 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; in this connection, “frontier sciences” play an important role).

In this regard, the subject of science is distinguished from the object of science, that is, by what sides the studied object is represented in science. If an object exists independently of science, then the subject is formed together with science and is fixed in its system of categories. We will analyze this using an example.

Biology is 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 be related to living nature and its manifestations, and this depends on the prevailing theories.

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

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

In a certain respect, we can say 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 an object is that part of an object that science stands out as specific for itself.

For example, a person acts as an object of anthropology, biology, ethnography, physiology, logic, psychology, etc., reflecting his (subject) in it. It seems to us, however, that here we are not talking about an 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 the object. We use the classification proposed by B. M. Kedrov. Kedrov 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, is conditional.

According to the features of these objects, the natural sciences and the humanities are distinguished; the latter are divided into social and philosophical. Thus, three main sections of scientific knowledge are identified, 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. This classification is presented in the form of the so-called “triangle of sciences”. This is a simplified scheme, in particular, psychology has been excluded from it so far, to which B. M. Kedrov takes a special place.

It is likely that the question may arise: why did the human sciences turn out to be separate from the natural sciences? And should any science about man be considered humanitarian? After all, a person may well be represented as a natural creature endowed with a physical body in which various biochemical processes take place. Of course, a number of human sciences (for example, human anatomy and physiology) are natural. Speaking about the humanities, we mean that they study something specific for a person and not amenable to (or, let's be careful, hard to give) those principles of explanation and knowledge that are accepted in the sciences of nature. If the changes occurring with natural objects do not depend on the will of the objects themselves (the will, as is commonly believed, is inherent only to man), then the person, in the words of S. L. Rubinstein, 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, external forces also act on a person, but his activity is determined not only (and often not so much) by them, but his internal position, his values, aspirations, worldview, vision of a life perspective; in other words, man is a self-determining creature, that is, man himself determines his life.

Studying animal communities does not provide an adequate understanding of the life of human society (although there have been attempts to draw analogies). Understanding a person as a special phenomenon, essentially fundamentally different from an animal, requires a special approach to its study. If, when studying nature, one can try to reproduce some of its fragments in the laboratory - in the sense that it is possible to simulate situations of exposure to the object of some external factors, and the changes that occur with the object as a result, be considered an analogue of what really happens in nature, then as applied to a person, this at least turns out to be insufficient, and in some humanities such a reproduction is generally impossible - for example, in history. If, when studying natural phenomena, it is appropriate to “extract” individual fragments from nature for research, then a person as a most complex single spiritual-bodily being should ideally be considered in the whole diversity of his individual and social being - which, of course, is extremely difficult, but as a line of thought and Research can be asked.

Thus, we can talk not only about the natural sciences and the humanities, distinguished by object: we can talk about two different approaches, two methods of scientific thinking - natural science and the humanities. As you will see later, this has a direct bearing on psychology.

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

• Fundamental (sometimes called “pure”) are sciences that know the world regardless of how much practical use of the knowledge gained is possible.

• Applied sciences, on the contrary, are oriented towards practice, applying to it the knowledge gained in fundamental sciences, and serve the immediate needs of society.
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Classification of Sciences

  1. Classification of Sciences
    So far, we have been talking about science in general; we needed this to determine the features of the scientific method of cognition in its difference and similarity with others, and thereby determine the approach to psychology as a science. The term "science" also refers to individual branches of scientific knowledge (psychology is one of them), which differ from each other in a number of essential characteristics. In order to
  2. CLASSIFICATION OF SCIENCES
    So far, we have been talking about science in general; we needed this in order to determine the features of the scientific method of cognition in its difference and similarity with others, and "^ to determine the approach to psychology as a science. The term" science "also refers to individual branches of scientific knowledge (psychology is one of them), which differ in each other. from a friend for a number of essential characteristics.
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