Exact Sciences: Characteristics, What They Study, Examples

The exact sciences are those disciplines that create knowledge through observation and experimentation, and are also considered the most reliable and trustworthy techniques.

The contents obtained are usually quantifiable and predictive, in addition they are usually systematized from mathematical language, which gives it a broad character of precision and rigor.

The contents of the exact sciences are systematized in mathematical language. Source: Pixabay

Sometimes they usually refer to them with the terms of hard sciences, pure sciences or fundamental sciences. Its purpose is to formulate hypotheses and produce exact predictions or irrefutable postulates, without philosophical or intuitive biases.

The exact sciences, as established by the mathematical philosopher Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970), are divided into formal or non-experimental sciences and natural or experimental sciences.

The former focus on working with shapes, that is, with ideal objects that exist in the mind and are obtained by abstraction. The second are those that study nature or all the phenomena of the physical world, without including aspects related to human actions.

The term exact sciences also comes to mark a difference with the inexact sciences or pseudosciences, which refer to the entire system of beliefs and judgments that lack coherence, logical, rational or scientific character, so they tend more towards the occult, what dogmatic or mystical.

Article index

  • one

    Characteristics

  • two

    What do exact sciences study? Object of study

  • 3

    Examples of exact sciences 

    • 3.1

      Math

    • 3.2

      Logic

    • 3.3

      Physical

    • 3.4

      Chemistry

    • 3.5

      biology

    • 3.6

      Computer’s science

    • 3.7

      geology

  • 4

    References 

Characteristics

One of the main characteristics of the exact sciences is the precision and rigor that they seek to obtain in their postulates. To do so, they are based on quantifiable and objective predictions that give a sense of irrefutable content to their content.

The language with which the knowledge of the exact or pure sciences is formulated are numbers, geometric figures and axioms or propositions not deduced from others.

The scientific method is part of its essence in order to obtain less interpretive and more exact analyzes, which do not depend on the researcher’s perspective, but tend towards universality. This feature will also facilitate error detection and better integration and organization of knowledge.

In contrast to the soft sciences or social sciences, the exact sciences claim greater explanatory success, cumulability, replicability, and higher levels of consensus. Also their principles tend to be more consistent over time and they are much more selective when accepting new results.

Although they focus on seeking infallible and invariable knowledge, the dynamic nature of the exact sciences cannot be ruled out. The possibility of incorporating new proposals and information is always raised, which is inherent in the production of knowledge, regardless of whether it is a hard or soft science.

What do exact sciences study? Object of study

Chemistry is an example of exact science or hard science. Source: Pixabay

The exact sciences only admit facts and principles that are capable of being demonstrated. Taking this as a foundation and considering Carnap’s classification of the exact sciences, we can speak of two great objects of study.

The first great object of study would be nature, understood as the phenomena of the physical world and also life in general, with the exception of artificial objects or those that involve some human intervention. This would correspond to the natural or experimental sciences.

The ideas or purely abstract forms, would be the second great object of study of the exact sciences. They are elements that only exist in the human mind but that can be applied to the analysis of any segment of physical-natural reality. This second object of study corresponds to the formal or non-experimental sciences.

Examples of exact sciences

 

Math

The Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) raises mathematics as a synonym for exact sciences. In its broadest subdivision, five basic objects of study can be identified: quantity, structure, space, change, and variability.

These objects of study correspond to different branches of this exact science, such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus and statistics, respectively.

Logic

It is a formal science that studies the principles of proof and valid inference, fallacies, paradoxes, and the notion of truth. Through deduction, it seeks to establish valid laws and principles to obtain coincidences between the statements and the facts.

At least four major branches are identified in it, which are mathematical logic, computational logic, philosophical logic and informal logic.

Physical

This science focuses on the study of four fundamental aspects of reality and the interactions between them such as: energy, matter, time and space. Physics is both a theoretical and an experimental discipline that adheres to the model of legitimacy and precision typical of the scientific method.

Chemistry

It is the science that is responsible for the study of matter in terms of its composition, properties and transformations, as well as the changes it experiences during chemical reactions and its relationship with energy.

Thanks to the influence of Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, John Mayow, among others, who guided her towards new empirical methods, chemistry can now be considered an exact science.

biology

It is a scientific discipline that studies the life of living beings, their vital processes and the phenomena related to them. Through the scientific method, experimentation, comparison and observation, it aims to understand the causes of the behavior of living beings and to recognize the laws that control such mechanisms.

Biology is considered within the exact sciences, one of the natural or experimental sciences.

Computer’s science

Understood as the theoretical bases of information and computing, as well as its application in automated information management systems.

Computer science focuses on the complex elaboration of logical systems through mathematics, which carry out tasks in a verifiable and demonstrable way, with a high degree of accuracy.

geology

It is the natural science that studies the composition, structure and dynamics of the terrestrial globe, including its natural resources, as well as its formation mechanism and the changes or alterations that it has experienced since its origin.

This discipline uses others such as chemistry and physics to obtain demonstrable and experimental results.

References

 

  1. Exact Sciences. (2019, September 27).  Wikipedia, The Encyclopedia. Recovered from wikipedia.org  
  2. Of writing. (2019, September 9). Definition of Exact Sciences. Recovered from conceptdefinition.de
  3. Wikipedia contributors. (2019, August 22). Exact sciences. In  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . Recovered from wikipedia.org
  4. Rodríguez, D. (2019, August 13) Formal sciences: characteristics, object of study and examples. Recovered from lifeder.com
  5. Helmenstine, AM (2019, January 8). What Is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Science? Recovered from thoughtco.com
  6. 10 Examples of Exact Sciences. (s, f,) Recovered from examples.co

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