An Approach Of Scientific And Non Scientific Knowledge Philosophy Essay


The main Objective of this paper is that the difference between Scientific and Non -Scientific Knowledge and Examine the boundary is there between these two. In order to prove all these things, we need to start from the basic. So we start with definition , The Word "Science" comes from the latin word "scientia " known as knowledge .According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is "knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method and concerned with the physical world."[1]. Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. So, it is very difficult to provide a definite conclusion, to distinguish Science from non Science.

Scientific Knowledge:-

The Scientific knowledge is process of finding the actual knowledge through experiment and observation. It is logical and rational steps by through which scientists come to conclusion. Scientist use observation, hypotheses, theory, laws and deduction to make these conclusions. First learn the essential element of science by method of analysis. Characteristic of scientific knowledge lies on three factors - objective, logical and systematic. It is transformation of deductive logic to hypothesis, then hypothesis to theory and theory to laws. These can achieve by learning from basic concept through assumption, variable, parameters and function forms [2]. Scientific hypotheses and theory are tested and verified by other Scientists, so that I can be accepted by the scientific community.

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Non Scientific Knowledge:-

Non Scientific Knowledge is accessed via senses, intuition, revelation and experience. We know that, moving close to the fire will get hurt and burned. So, he or she gains the knowledge by physical sense - seeing, sound, touch, smell and experience .Other gain knowledge by intuition and revelation. Intuition is the strong feeling or hunch and Revelation is supernatural source, such as god, divinity etc. knowledge obtained through experience, intuition, revelations are treated as private knowledge. Objective testing is not conducted on Non scientific methods. Non Scientific knowledge hold, that the world cannot be understood by science, but rather by religious revelations, mystical experience, or literary deconstructionism [3].

Why we believe scientific knowledge rather than Non Scientific Knowledge?

Scientific experiment can be repeated several times to prove the results are correct in all the cases of observation carried out. Scientific method uses method of trial and error. Trial and error is equivalent to scientific methods, Scientist use more details way of understanding of problem .Whereas in case of non scientific method, it is just prediction or forecasting the event with the help of hunch or strong feeling. This won't give the same result all the time. But there is no fundamental difference between two - scientific and non Scientific(Barrow,1991) For Example, Car mechanic use his hunch to solve the problem arise in Car, but scientist solve same problem with details examination and causes for the problem. Sometimes Car mechanic can solve the problem so earlier than Scientist. From this, we can't predict scientific knowledge of no use.

In order to prove this, Gallup Poll conducted survey in March 2001 among Americans, in topic -"Creationism and evolution". In that survey nearly 57 % for Creationism, 33% for evolution and 10% are not sure about the problem" (Gallup News Service, 2001). This shows the why scientific knowledge is credible? .first Unit covers, Science - epistemological value and development of new Science.

Best example is Physical Science, show why scientific knowledge is more credible and reliable knowledge than Non scientific knowledge. According to Lakatos, No scientific theories or hypothesis should be accepted without proper verification from other Scientist and Scientist community. Sir Isaac Newton who is the "Father of Physics", so people had blind faith on him. Newton published the final version of his theory "Opticks" in 1704.Everyone accepted it without any reference and practical experiments (example for non Scientific knowledge). Same time, Christiaan Huygens proposed light was made of luminous particles called as "ether" .This made people to go against him, since his theory is against Newton's theory of "Opticks". After Several years, Christiann Huygens theory was proved correct by Mr. Max Planck's "Quantum theory" and Albert Einstein's "Theory of relativity" through various experiment and observation [5].

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How can we recognize the correct knowledge?

By studying the history of the universe, it is possible to understand the natural hierarchical standard of the nature of organization (Bronowski, 1977). These levels are classified by stability, size and in built properties. These levels are made up of quantum, atomic and molecules of the universe (Silk, 2001). This Hierarchy, show the framework and Characteristics for all scientific knowledge.

Some of the characteristics are:

There is temporal relation between these levels for development of the universe.

Steady and Stable process, to built these level from the basic

Course of time is required for the development of the level and their hierarchy.

Universe follow the natural algorithm of evolution (Dennett, 1995), for achieving these level of stability in all process and hierarchy.

Using this knowledge, every concept of non major Science can be covered, by building a logical way of discussing the factor on itself. Best example is Biological evolution and modern synthesis (Darwin and Mendel).

According to Kuhn, science is divided into revolutionary science and normal science. Normal Science is the collection of facts and it obeys all scientific rules and characteristics. Whereas, revolutionary science is overthrow the existing theory and make science in better way. In the beginning of 18th century Darwin's "Origin of Evolution" was considered as revolutionary science. It predicts human race originates from Apes. His theory disobeys all the scientific characteristics and rules. So, no one at that time believed and accepted his theory. But now modern science has various proofs that, Darwin theory is right. [4]

How can we integrate the knowledge into one?

It is very difficult to accumulate and integrate the knowledge from the source of either Scientific or non scientific methods. Both Science and non Science play a vital role in Knowledge management. By bring the subject to real world and make a relation with the fact came from the experiment, observation and proposed laws to make it as whole one.

Steps involved in Integration (Mackinson and Nøttestad 1998).

Gather the required information from the both scientific (Hard data) and non Scientific methods (practical Data).

Combine these data with the help of proper communication in all level (analysis, design and implementation)

1. Accurate within the domain

2. Increase the existing knowledge

3. Simple objective

4. Respect the difference in opinion

5. Stiff in opinion is always wrong

Understand the complete problem as whole one.

Relation of Parts and Unity of Knowledge:

By gathering all the fundamental requirement, assumptions and laws (scientific knowledge), we can provide explain the conceptual way of any system as the basis of any non scientific terms, methods or knowledge. Epistemology is study of origin, methods and below the human knowledge. Coherence is epistemological term, in which Science has a logical connection between the theoretical and practical way of handling the methods, lead to cause and effect. Dividing Science into different disciplines, as the need for methodology and specialization (Greene, 1997). But this is not happened in real world. In reality, scientific knowledge is only one. This allows the individual to make specialize. Unity of knowledge is known as characteristic of scientific theory, which a gel of various area of study (Wilson, 1998). Example for unity of knowledge is mechanics in physics, classification of creature and their evolution in biology, Historic events etc. Unity of knowledge is a fruit for scientific analysis and built a more ample environment to form a coherent picture of the world.

When Non - Scientific become Scientific?

Non Scientific Method is analysis of problem with hunch or inductive or past experience. Truth in non scientific method is not examined, because results are not accurate or mere coincidence. Non Scientific method should follow some steps to reach as Scientific Knowledge. They are:

Goal: What is to be done?

Model: How it is done?

Data: What are requirements?

Evaluation: what is the output?

Revision: how to improve?

For Example: - Cooking is the best example for Conversion of Non Scientific into Scientific terms. Microwave oven reduces most of our work, but however preparation of dishes begins with list of ingredients, recipe and instruction, mixing and cooking them. Even though all these things are perfect, well talented chef is required, to follow the recipe, modify the taste by adding ingredient according to the output (requirement of taste of the people). Modification are carried still, it meets the chef's approval. Any significant change in the recipe may be taken as permanent change and make it as food type itself in the nearby future.

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Recipe -type of food item going to prepare


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Not a Science:-

Day to Day life, people observe many thing, they treat everything as science. There are some of things, are not considered as science. They are:-

Religion is not considered as science. Most of the religions followed some specific codes and methods, to make followers should obey to accept. There is no improvement in religion and no ways to measure it.

Governments are established for some reason and goal. They are also allow set of rules to reach the goal. It is rarely a formal function for calculating the goal they achieved.

Technology and Science are correlated. Science is used to develop the technology and technology is tool or application, developed from the knowledge of science.

Astrology predictions are virtual. There is goal and model s, but criteria like evaluation, Data and revision are absent.

Structure of Scientific Knowledge:-

So Far, we have argued about the belief of scientific knowledge as a final conclusion, for coherent theories to growth and development. Scientific Knowledge is divided into Internal and External resource, which is implicit and explicit, explanation and concept of environment. The complexity of the problem, help us to deal with knowledge not based on the algorithm, but through set of rules to explain the importance and practices. These types of issues can view as first order module view.

According to Scott Atran and Dan Sperber, classify knowledge module as

"a genetically specified computational device in the mind/brain that works pretty much on its own on inputs pertaining to some specific cognitive domain and provided by other parts of the nervous system (e.g. sensory receptors or other modules)" (Sperber 1996, p. 120)

The main motto of his postulate is, knowledge modules are providing the access to proper information in correct domain. The Structure is not standardizing, explicitly understanding of the fundamental principles for sensing or reasoning in the particular domain (Carey 1995, p. 274). According to Susan Carey, These knowledge modules are considered as empirical and conceptual problem. The empirical problems related on the data related to different catholicity. So, these data won't provide evidence for making clear decision. But these data help us to understand the fundamental and basic reasoning for characterize (Carey 1985).example for first order module view is classification of the flora and fauna. They are not domain specific. However the knowledge module is considered as the core domain knowledge.

Scientific development through abstract knowledge:-

According to Carey and Spelke put forward:-

"Processes for combining the representations from domain-specific systems of knowledge provide one potential mechanism of theory development and conceptual change… studies of young children provide a promising means to study these processes (Carey and Spelke 1996, p. 528)

Abstract knowledge can be obtained from conceptual change. But scientific knowledge is termed as "Theoretical knowledge". Results of the observation are converted into theories, which are assumed as right (true). If terms of false result, scientific knowledge is assert the new one, by adding additional valid information in old theories. The change in theories is always good for the growth of the knowledge module in Scientific methods. But now days, sociologist claims, Science is elaborated field, in order to gain the scientific knowledge it is necessary to take cultural and social events as consideration (Biagoli 1993, Shapin and Schaffer 1985).

Boundary between Scientific and Non Scientific knowledge:-

Whether there is boundary between scientific and non scientific knowledge? In order to examine this, there are several factors and importance we need to notice, some of them are:

Accepting the wrong conclusion, so that research is made to find the actual truth (knowledge).

Boundary between Scientific and non Scientific is not imaginary, all research either lies on Scientific or non scientific

Knowledge is based on the Science, naturally boundary will exist.

Boundary is best indicator to explain the characteristic of any research work or fields. Factors involved along with scientific and non Scientific method, explain the characteristic of the research.

To define the classical logic and standards, boundary is required.

Mistake in applying Scientific methods:

Scientist used the hypothesis to explain the phenomenon of any events or research, without finding or conducting experimental tests. We cannot prove the hypothesis, by conducting single experiment. If result obtained from the original hypothesis is differing from final result of the experiment, hypothesis won't change due to result difference. These factors relates on variable control, time, measurement, etc.

Removing of unwanted data from the hypothesis is always a great mistake. Scientist always has strong belief, that their hypothesis is right. So it is human tendency, to change the data if results are against the hypothesis. Calculation of estimating the type, priority, number and classification of errors also lead to one mistake in knowledge gathering in scientific methods.

Communication plays a vital role in development and sharing of Knowledge. Miscommunication, community override , personal or group bias are avoided , since experiments , test and research are carried out by different people from different culture , language, thoughts ,opinion etc. so there is always possibility for conflict and other human errors and mistake ( Wilson,1952).


"If only theory and practice worked on the same lines, everything I read in the books would've been true!!!"

The scientific methods are closely related with science, which solve the human queries that penetrate the all level of knowledge management. Method are simpler and logic way of understanding the problem. In introduction, we distinguish science and its methods from all other forms of non scientific methods. Scientific method is examine through various step like observation ,prediction , hypothesis and experimentation , with all view of the philosopher like cloud, Spelke, Wilson ,Kuhn etc in each phase . In Terms of Non scientific methods, we discuss about the how it differs from traditional way (scientific methods)? , when Non scientific act become scientific one? . In later portion, boundary and difference between scientific and non scientific methods and knowledge, mistake committed by the scientist while during the hypothesis and other phase of analysis and experiment are discussed. For further details of this topic and other aspect may be found in reference listed below.


"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree" - Albert Einstein [23]

We have discussed about the growth of scientific knowledge, with all traditional practices, concepts, evolution of theories and other knowledge resource. The Scientific method view is play vital role in developing the standard and concept. Same way Non scientific methods and knowledge also lead to enrich our idea, since this only converted into scientific knowledge, by adding some favor like goal, evaluation, data etc. Both type of knowledge help us in conversion and development of conceptual system. Conceptual system is rich in cognitive knowledge development. This only required by the people or scholar to enrich society, community or individual.