Science is one of the most important areas of human activity at the present stage of the development of world civilization. To date, there are hundreds of different disciplines: technical, social, humanitarian, natural sciences. What are they studying? How did natural science develop in the historical aspect?
Natural science is ...
What is natural science? When it originated and from what directions does it consist?
Natural science is a discipline that studies natural phenomena and phenomena that are external to the subject of research (person). The term "natural science" in Russian comes from the word "nature", which is synonymous with the word "nature".
The foundation of natural science can be considered mathematics, as well as philosophy. Of these, by and large, all modern natural sciences came out. At first the naturalists tried to answer all questions concerning nature and its various manifestations. Then, as the subject of research became more complex , natural science began to split into separate disciplines, which eventually became more isolated.
In the context of modern times, natural science is a complex of scientific disciplines about nature, taken in their close relationship.
History of the formation of natural sciences
The development of natural sciences took place gradually. However, human interest in the phenomena of nature manifested itself in antiquity.
Natural philosophy (in fact, science) actively developed in ancient Greece. Ancient thinkers, with the help of primitive methods of research and, sometimes, intuition, were able to make a number of scientific discoveries and important assumptions. Even then the natural philosophers were sure that the Earth revolves around the Sun, could explain the solar and lunar eclipses, quite accurately measured the parameters of our planet.
In the Middle Ages, the development of natural science slowed noticeably and was heavily dependent on the church. Many scientists at this time were persecuted for the so-called dissidence. All scientific research and research, in fact, boiled down to interpreting and justifying the scriptures. Nevertheless, during the Middle Ages, logic and theory developed substantially. It should also be noted that at this time the center of natural philosophy (direct study of natural phenomena) geographically shifted towards the Arab-Muslim region.
In Europe, the rapid development of natural science begins (renewed) only in the XVII-XVIII centuries. This is the time of large-scale accumulation of actual knowledge and empirical material (the results of "field" observations and experiments). The natural sciences of the 18th century are also based in their studies on the results of numerous geographic expeditions, voyages, studies of newly discovered lands. In the XIX century, logic and theoretical thinking again came first. At this time, scientists actively handle all the collected facts, putting forward various theories, formulating regularities.
The most outstanding natural scientists in the history of world science include Thales, Eratosthenes, Pythagoras, Claudius Ptolemy, Archimedes, Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Nikola Tesla, Mikhail Lomonosov and many other famous scientists.
The problem of the classification of natural science
The basic natural sciences include: mathematics (which is also often called the "queen of sciences"), chemistry, physics, biology. The problem of the classification of natural science has existed for a long time and disturbs the minds of not one dozen scientists and theoreticians.
The best solution to this dilemma was Friedrich Engels , a German philosopher and scientist, who is better known as a close friend of Karl Marx and co-author of his famous work entitled "Capital." He was able to identify two main principles (approach) of the typology of scientific disciplines: this is an objective approach, and also the principle of development.
The most detailed classification of sciences was offered by the Soviet methodologist Bonifaty Kedrov. It has not lost its relevance in our days.
List of natural sciences
The whole complex of scientific disciplines is divided into three large groups:
- Humanities (or social) sciences;
Nature is studied by the latter. The full list of natural sciences is presented below:
- Soil science;
- Natural history;
As for mathematics, scientists do not have a common opinion about which group of scientific disciplines it should be attributed to. Some consider it a natural science, others - accurate. Some methodologists refer mathematics to a separate class of so-called formal (or abstract) sciences.
Chemistry is a vast field of natural science, the main object of study of which is matter, its properties and structure. This science considers natural bodies and objects on the atomic-molecular level. She also studies chemical bonds and reactions arising from the interaction of different structural particles of matter.
For the first time the theory that all natural bodies consist of smaller elements (not visible to man) was put forward by the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus. He suggested that each substance includes smaller particles, just as words consist of different letters.
Modern chemistry is a complex science, which includes several dozen disciplines. This is inorganic and organic chemistry, biochemistry, geochemistry, even cosmochemistry.
Physics is one of the oldest sciences on Earth. The laws it reveals are the basis, the foundation for the whole system of disciplines of natural science.
For the first time the term "physics" was used by Aristotle. In those days, it was almost identical philosophy. Physics became an independent science only in the 16th century.
Today, physics is understood as a science that studies matter, its structure and motion, and also the general laws of nature. In its structure, several main sections are distinguished. These are classical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum physics, the theory of relativity and some others.
The distinction between the natural sciences and the humanities by the bold line passed through the "body" of the once unified geographic science, dividing its separate disciplines. So, physical geography (in contrast to the economic and social geography) was in the bosom of natural science.
This science studies the geographic envelope of the Earth as a whole, as well as individual natural components and systems that make up its composition. Modern physical geography consists of a number of branch sciences. Among them:
- Landscape science;
- Soil science and others.
Natural and human sciences: unity and differences
Humanitarian, natural sciences - are they so far apart, how does it seem?
Of course, these disciplines differ in the object of research. Natural sciences study nature, humanities - focus their attention on man and society. Humanitarian disciplines can not compete with the natural in accuracy, they are not able to mathematically prove their theories and confirm hypotheses.
On the other hand, these sciences are closely connected, intertwined with each other. Especially in the 21st century. So, mathematics has long been embedded in literature and music, physics and chemistry - in art, psychology - in social geography and economics and so on. In addition, it has long become evident that many important discoveries are made at the junction of several scientific disciplines, which, at first glance, have absolutely nothing in common.
Natural science is the direction of science that studies natural phenomena, processes and phenomena. There are a lot of such disciplines: chemistry and physics, mathematics and biology, geography and astronomy.
Natural sciences, despite the numerous differences in the subject and methods of research, are closely related to social and humanitarian disciplines. This connection is especially strong in the 21st century, when all sciences are converging and intertwined.