What Subject is Closest to Philosophy?

Philosophy is a pretty wide subject that connects to several other subjects which mostly deal with abstract matters. Its diversity makes it difficult to pick out what subject is closest to Philosophy. There are several subjects that can be compared to Philosophy but none of them captures its entirety as much as Scientific Research does 

 The closest subject to Philosophy is Scientific Research, though it is much wider. Unlike Philosophy which often deals with the study of evidence for unproven ideas, Scientific Research is focused on how the human mind works.

Some other subjects that can be compared to Philosophy include Psychology and Sociology.

How Similar is Scientific Research to Philosophy?

What Subject is Closest to Philosophy?
  • Both are based on the study of Knowledge:

Science and Philosophy are based on the study of knowledge and facts. While Science literally means “Knowledge”, Philosophy is defined as the study of knowledge. In both subjects, there is the need to dwell on ideas that either can be proven or can’t be argued.

  • Both aim to simplify complex ideas and phenomena.

While Science is mostly focused on the non-abstract, it also delves into matters that we consider abstract. Science, just like Philosophy, often tries to give the best explanation for abstract matters like time, reality, and existence.

 Philosophy studies proven evidence and brings up the best theories to explain abstract matters which are truly difficult to prove.

  • Both employ reasoning to judge facts.

Both subjects often need to assess popular theories to ensure the truth. Reasoning is needed, as Scientists and Philosophers employ prior knowledge in judging new discoveries.

 Science often goes further than observation to prove facts, however.

  • Both require each other to achieve conclusions.

Science has to do with logic and experiments. Philosophy has to do with simplification of theories. Both subjects are connected and interdependent. Science needs the conceptual clarification which Philosophy offers to reach a reasonable conclusion. Philosophy also needs the logical facts which are offered by Scientific Research to reach the most reasonable truth and clarify other theories.

Read Also: Why is philosophy important to literature? 

Differences Between Scientific Research and Philosophy

What Subject is Closest to Philosophy?
  • Science is based on Posteriori knowledge while Philosophy is based on both Posteriori and Priori knowledge

Posteriori or Empirical knowledge is one major feature of Science. This term refers to knowledge that is acquired through experience or experimentation. It is practical, rather than theoretical.

Philosophy is based on Priori knowledge which refers to knowledge that requires no experimentation or experience. It refers to knowledge that doesn’t need to be proven but is generally considered to be true. For example, the fact that a Cat is an animal is Priori knowledge. 

Priori knowledge can be derived from Posteriori knowledge (For example, we believe that Light can pass through a transparent glass because it is proven that anything transparent can be seen through). This is why Philosophy often requires Science. Science also requires the philosophical reasoning to question experimentations and compare with other proven truths.

  • Science is strictly objective while Philosophy can be both subjective and objective.

Science leaves no opportunity to be proven wrong while Philosophy can be wrong. In some cases, we may find Philosophy to be assumptions due to insufficient facts backing a conclusion. Science however tries to avoid subjects that cannot be explained while trying to experiment them.

 Philosophy is based on logical arguments and when they can prove Science wrong, Science has to adapt to the correction. Science leaves no room for opinions. However, if arguments provided by Philosophy cannot be proven, those arguments remain subjective while the information provided by Science are in the most objective form they can be.

  • Philosophy is more concerned with abstract topics unlike Science.

Science focuses on non-abstract topics and ideas that can be proven. However, Science often tries to delve into abstract topics but gives no conclusion until there is one that can be proven.

 Philosophy, on the other hand, mostly deals with abstract topics and reaches conclusions based on logical arguments. Philosophy brings together scientifically proven ideas that are relevant to the abstract topic and try to reach the most possible conclusions but these conclusions are considered assumptions until they are scientifically proven to be facts.

  • Science creates facts and near-facts while Philosophy interprets to prove or discard.

Science determines facts and myths based on what it can prove with experiments. However, when Science delves into abstract topics or matters that are difficult to understand or prove, they entertain philosophical reasoning in determining a near-fact, that is the best explanation for the phenomenon.

These neat-facts are interpreted by philosophers. They employ other scientifically proven ideas to know why Science has reached its conclusion on an abstract matter. They prove or discard the near-facts with logical arguments.


Philosophy is similar to many subjects but only Science captures its entire idea and goes beyond it. Science, however, is much wider and so it is divided into several aspects.

The major difference between Philosophy and Science is that the latter seeks to prove with experiments while the former uses Priori knowledge to ascertain the most possible conclusions.

Both subjects deal with knowledge but Philosophical conclusions remain assumptions until Scientifically confirmed as facts.

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