Is Philosophy a Humanity or Social Science?


Martha Robinson

Philosophy is a fascinating subject that has intrigued people for centuries. It is a discipline that explores fundamental questions about the nature of reality, existence, knowledge, and ethics. However, there is often a debate among scholars about whether philosophy should be classified as a humanity or social science.

What is Philosophy?

Before we delve into this debate, let’s first define what philosophy is. At its core, philosophy is the study of ideas and concepts related to existence, reality, knowledge, values, reason, and language. It deals with abstract concepts and theories rather than concrete facts or data.

Humanity vs Social Science

The question of whether philosophy should be classified as a humanity or social science stems from the different ways in which these disciplines approach their subject matter. Humanities are concerned with studying human culture and history through analysis of literature, art, music, language and philosophy itself. On the other hand Social Sciences are focused on studying human behavior and society through empirical observations.

Those who argue that philosophy belongs to humanities believe that it shares many similarities with other disciplines in this category such as literature and art. All three involve critical thinking skills such as interpretation and analysis of complex texts or ideas.

On the other hand, some scholars argue that philosophy can also be considered as a social science due to its emphasis on logical reasoning and empirical observation. Philosophers use logical arguments to support their claims while also observing the world around them to draw conclusions about various aspects of human experience.


While there may be varying opinions on whether philosophy should be considered a humanity or social science there’s no denying its importance in both areas. Philosophy provides us with important insights into our own existence and helps us better understand our place in the world around us regardless of how we classify it academically.

In summary Philosophy can be viewed as occupying an interdisciplinary space between humanities and social sciences where it draws from both fields to provide a unique perspective on the human experience.