What are the formal sciences?

We explain what the formal sciences are and what their object of study is. Differences with the facts. Examples of formal sciences.

  1. What are the formal sciences?

The  formal sciences or ideal sciences are those sciences whose object of study is not the world and nature , or the laws of physics or chemical that govern it , but formal systems, ie systems of relationships that are, in principle, devoid of content own, but that can be applied to the analysis of any segment of reality.

Formal sciences do not study real objects, but forms : abstractions, relationships, ideal objects created in the mind of the human being . It could be said that they are not so interested in the what, but in the how: the forms and not the contents.

These types of sciences are analytical or non-empirical, that is, they do not validate their theories and knowledge through experimentation or observation of the real world, but through the study of the rules of thought that are proper to the system, as propositions, axioms, definitions and inferences. His method, therefore, is normally the deductive.

They are distinguished from factual sciences , whose objective is the understanding of the real and tangible world through the scientific method , and which includes the natural sciences and social sciences .

It can serve you: Exact Sciences .

  1. Examples of formal sciences

Some of the best known formal sciences are:

  • Math . The study of the logical-formal systems of calculation and representation available to human beings and their applications to practical life.
  • Logic . The study of the methods of thought, that is, of the propositions and the mechanisms of deduction that follow from them.
  • Computer science . Known as computer science or programming , it deals with logical-computational systems that allow information automation.
  • Arithmetic . The science of calculus and numbers, which are mental abstractions.
  • Statistics . It deals with the study of probabilities and proportions.
  • Geometry . Study the geometric shapes, that is, the mental or graphic representations we can make of the real world in our minds.

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