by Tatiana Velitchkov © 2009
In the world today, almost everything that occurs around us has to have a scientific explanation or a philosophical one for that matter. It would seem that science and philosophy are always at loggerheads. Depending on the worldview they favor, people will always explain things either from a scientific or philosophical point of view. When you use your brain to reason out something, the answer you come up with can be said to be scientific. If on the other hand you use your heart, then the explanation will be philosophical. It is important to understand the difference between science and philosophy.
Whereas science remains the same to a lot of people, everyone has his or her own philosophy about almost everything. For instance, no one doubts the scientific explanation about the force of gravity. It can be said that science is what unifies humankind, but it is philosophy that differentiate people from each other. You cannot classify philosophy, or claim that one is superior to the other – all philosophies are way beyond basic comparisons for each is unique in its own way.
Conflict between science and philosophy has been there for a very long time. Long before scientific explanations became known and acceptable, the world was ruled by philosophy. Philosophers of the old used to use rationalism or deductive knowledge to expound their ideas. Then science came with its experiments and facts, and it forever changed how people viewed the world.
Neither science nor philosophy alone can answer all questions. The two have to be used together to form answers that are logical, none is superior to the other. Science has been used, especially by religious groups to prove what was previously known only through philosophical arguments. It is true then to say that philosophy sets the stage for science. People who try to distance themselves from philosophy always find themselves thrown into other philosophies even without their knowledge. Those who try to ignore proof of what the world is actually like and instead hold on to what they think the world should be often seem like they are totally disconnected from reality.
People should understand that science tries to tell the facts of the universe; philosophy helps in the interpretation of those facts. This explains how the two compliment each other. The different ways we interpret scientific facts also explain how come we are all so different. Our philosophies make us so.
© Tatiana Velitchkov
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