Question
Asked 8th Apr, 2019

What type of knowledge is science and how is it different from other kinds of knowledge?

The role of science in building the modern-day society is so enormous without any hitherto of doubt that the blind can feel and the deaf can see. Application of scientific knowledge is pivoted in formulating the social structures of any kind through the local and industrial production to all levels of education (Markova, 2017). The values attached to science by society is a reflection of inevitable scientific knowledge application in satisfying the basic needs of human beings and improving quality of life and well-being. Despite the utility of science through application of its knowledge in the society the big questions remain: What constitutes scientific knowledge? What are the unique features of scientific knowledge that make it different from other types of knowledge? In the next few paragraphs, I will attempt to address these questions.
Questions on the nature of scientific knowledge is philosophical and it is imperative to treat it as such. Therefore, the type of knowledge science is can be explained from the epistemological perspective which primarily concerns with the theory of knowledge in general. Despite the much effort that have been expended towards identification of constituents of scientific knowledge among educational philosophers there seems to be no universal agreement. However, some components such as statements, concepts, hypotheses, theories, methodology, etc., stand out in scientific practices. In an attempt to explain these components of scientific knowledge and their interrelationships, an overview of two epistemologies will be provided. These are the epistemology developed by Popper (2002) and that of Bunge (1998a, 1998b).
In the conceptualization of scientific knowledge, Popper sees statements as cardinal constituents and tools to describing concepts (basic or universal) coupled with associated relationships. In his view, a statement could be singular – describing experimental observation, or universal – all-inclusive based on experience. It is by default necessary for concepts to feature in scientific statements. Accordingly, a singular statement encompasses the description of an occurrence – real phenomenon – which in turn could form a building block for an event-similar occurrence which differ only in space or time. A special kind of statement is a hypothesis while a law is a unique type of universal statement. Another major component of scientific knowledge is a theory – a collection of scientific statements. Finally, a special kind of theory is a methodology (Hars, 2001; Popper, 2002). These components sum together constitute Popper’s epistemology of scientific knowledge.
Another perspective of the kind of knowledge science really is can be understood from Bunge’s epistemology of scientific knowledge. According to Bunge (1998a, 1998b), ideas and facts are basic building blocks of a scientific knowledge of an object. Scientific ideas can be broken into factual hypotheses or observational hypotheses. A factual hypothesis requires creativity as it is not often extracted from data. Another component of scientific knowledge as described by Bunger are problems which could be solved using formula that encompasses concepts and variables. Data generated by scientific experience (e.g., measurement, observation and experiment) could be linked to hypotheses towards forming theories. Hence, theories are collection of hypotheses which can be deeper than one and other.
From the foregoing paragraphs it is evident that a scientific knowledge could be conceived of as a systematically synthesis of ideas about an object, occurrence, phenomenon or event through hypotheses that are subjected to testing using measurement, observation, experiment and refined accordingly for a rational explanation (theory) of the phenomenon. These features-ideas, hypothesizing, experimentation, methodology, theorizing, etc., coupled with its empirical integration make scientific knowledge different from other types of knowledge.
It will be a good idea if your thoughts can be captured in the comment section. Thank you.
References
Bunge, M. A. (1998a). Philosophy of science, volume 1: From problem to theory. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishing.
Bunge, M. A. (1998b). Philosophy of science, volume 2: From explanation to justification. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishing.
Hars, A. (2001). Designing scientific knowledge infrastructures: The contribution of epistemology. Information Systems Frontiers, 3(1), 63–73.
Markova, L. A. (2017). The Turn in Social Investigations of Scientific Knowledge. Russian Studies in Philosophy, 55(1), 26-36. doi:10.1080/10611967.2017.1296290
Popper, K. (2002). The Logic of Scientific Discovery (6th ed.). London: Routledge.

Most recent answer

14th Jul, 2019
Yusuf F Zakariya
Universitetet i Agder
Very interesting reflection here Dariusz.
Best wishes.

Popular answers (1)

14th Jul, 2019
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
In my opinion, scientific knowledge differs from other types of knowledge, data, information, etc., primarily by the following features:
1. Scientific knowledge is fully objective, verified by independent scientific research. The course of the conducted research, applied research methods and their nature and research issues should be determined objectively by scientists, ie independently of other entities and institutions.
2. Scientific knowledge should serve people, solve key problems of civilization development, should inspire to develop cooperation between people, etc. New scientific research should be undertaken on topics that were diagnosed with opportunities or threats to the development of human civilization but also natural environment, sustainable development, etc. .
3. Scientific knowledge can not be used in media propaganda, propaganda carried out by dominant companies and corporations as well as other pressure groups. Scientific knowledge should not be used in the media to falsify the image of reality for citizens, in order to create a specific ideology resulting from the interest of a specific company or institution operating anti-social.
4. Scientific knowledge inspires to ask more questions and to seek answers by conducting scientific research using increasingly new research tools and new technologies. Scientific knowledge should inspire to conduct further scientific research, to formulate questions and research theses on topics crucial for the development of human civilization but also the natural environment, sustainable development, etc.
5. Scientific knowledge should be extended through objectively, ethically, socially-led scientific research. In order to make scientific knowledge objectively enriched with new content, institutions that finance the conduct of scientific research can not affect the course and results of scientific research.
Best wishes
7 Recommendations

All Answers (10)

9th Apr, 2019
Petru Dragnef
McGill University
Yeah, this is a nice short few paragraphs on the views of Popper and Bunge but I don’t think you have enough to draw any serious conclusions.
2 Recommendations
9th Apr, 2019
Yusuf F Zakariya
Universitetet i Agder
Yeah Petru Dragnef . This is just a tip of the iceberg to start up a discussion on the topic. Your scholarly opinion will be highly appreciated.
Best wishes,
Yusuf.
11th Apr, 2019
Iliescu Dragos
Nuclear NDT Research and Services
What is science? -> What is reality? -> Is the science a path to reality? -> Is reality made of truth?
First, within a deterministic space, it seems that the question about scientific knowledge leads to the definition of truth. And by consequence, science and scientific knowledge are all (concepts, formulas, etc.) those identifying the TRUTH. It is interesting to note here that math language did not use the time axis (time as opposite to duration). With other words, the truth is preserved in itself and science is the way to prove it.
12th Apr, 2019
Angelo Mazzei
Università di Pisa
When academic language fails to formulate an answer, there is "poetry".
Science is that Knowledge that resists through paradigm shifts. The rest is science without a capital letter.
1 Recommendation
13th Apr, 2019
Stanley Wilkin
University of London
Science and belief systems are not radically different, differing mainly in their methods of substantiation. Science requires certain truth laden stages (sic) while belief requires performance.
1 Recommendation
15th Apr, 2019
Howard Christian
Mediscinz Communications, Wanaka, New Zealand
Are we not all innately scientists and science is – simply stated – our willingness to observe? Complexity arises when we overlay our observation with discernment and the varied stories (materialism, positivism, physicalism, realism, neutral monism, idealism...) that are our best attempts to define what is real and what is not; to hold onto the illusion that the object we observe is in some way distinct from our self and that this object remains unchanged through our observation of it. If Knowledge is truly the goal, the only Thing we can know with certainty is what we Feel in the present moment. As soon as we use thought and language to describe this observed Feeling, the illusion of separation is complete.
27th Apr, 2019
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Very interesting and accurate approach to the role and the essence of science in the context of the whole of human activity.
Best wishes
29th Apr, 2019
Geng Ouyang
MinNan Normal University
Mr. Yusuf F Zakariya,
I agree with you that there are many kinds of human knowledge in the world but only some of them belong to human science. According to my studies, among other things, following two scientific characteristics are very important:
1, the knowledge of human science is an alive being along with our human and it exists and develops with the metabolism mechanism along with our human--------the metabolism phenomenon are unavoidable.
2, a formula can be constructed to analysis the scientific factors of human knowledge.
14th Jul, 2019
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
In my opinion, scientific knowledge differs from other types of knowledge, data, information, etc., primarily by the following features:
1. Scientific knowledge is fully objective, verified by independent scientific research. The course of the conducted research, applied research methods and their nature and research issues should be determined objectively by scientists, ie independently of other entities and institutions.
2. Scientific knowledge should serve people, solve key problems of civilization development, should inspire to develop cooperation between people, etc. New scientific research should be undertaken on topics that were diagnosed with opportunities or threats to the development of human civilization but also natural environment, sustainable development, etc. .
3. Scientific knowledge can not be used in media propaganda, propaganda carried out by dominant companies and corporations as well as other pressure groups. Scientific knowledge should not be used in the media to falsify the image of reality for citizens, in order to create a specific ideology resulting from the interest of a specific company or institution operating anti-social.
4. Scientific knowledge inspires to ask more questions and to seek answers by conducting scientific research using increasingly new research tools and new technologies. Scientific knowledge should inspire to conduct further scientific research, to formulate questions and research theses on topics crucial for the development of human civilization but also the natural environment, sustainable development, etc.
5. Scientific knowledge should be extended through objectively, ethically, socially-led scientific research. In order to make scientific knowledge objectively enriched with new content, institutions that finance the conduct of scientific research can not affect the course and results of scientific research.
Best wishes
7 Recommendations
14th Jul, 2019
Yusuf F Zakariya
Universitetet i Agder
Very interesting reflection here Dariusz.
Best wishes.

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Like so many, I am shocked and saddened at seeing war break out in Europe. My thoughts – and those of the ResearchGate team – are with the people of Ukraine and everyone affected.
ResearchGate is an international company, whose purpose is to enable scientists across the world to work together openly and collaboratively, regardless of borders or nationality. We have people from over 40 countries on our staff of around 200, and being based in Berlin, we are profoundly aware of the human cost of conflicts, the echoes of which have shaped and scarred our home city. We join with the international community in condemning the actions of the Russian state.
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We also want to use our platform to highlight the response from the scientific community. Personally, I have found the messages of support from scientists everywhere to be truly heartfelt, and I would like to highlight some of the community initiatives I’ve seen here:
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To help gather more support for these initiatives, please consider sharing this post further (you don’t need a ResearchGate account to see it), and I will continue to update it with other initiatives as I find them. You can also click “Recommend” below to help others in your ResearchGate network see it. And if you know of any other community initiatives that we can share here please let us know via this form: https://forms.gle/e37EHouWXFLyhYE8A
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