Is Philosophy a Social Science Course?


Jane Flores

The Definition of Social Science

Before we delve into the question of whether philosophy can be categorized as a social science, let’s first define what social science is. According to the Oxford Dictionary, social science is defined as:

“The scientific study of human society and social relationships.”

This definition encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, psychology, and more.

Philosophy as a Social Science

So where does philosophy fit in The answer isn’t so straightforward.

On one hand, philosophy does deal with concepts related to human society and social relationships. For example, ethical theories that philosophers discuss often touch on topics such as justice and fairness in society. Political philosophy also deals with questions about how societies ought to be governed.

Additionally, many philosophical ideas have had significant impacts on the development of other social sciences. For instance, philosophers like Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche have influenced fields such as political science and sociology.

The Disagreement Among Scholars

Despite these connections between philosophy and social science disciplines, there is still disagreement among scholars about whether philosophy should be classified as a social science.

Some argue that while some aspects of philosophy overlap with the concerns of social sciences, it ultimately doesn’t fit within the strict parameters of what constitutes a “science”. Philosophy’s methods are often more abstract than those used in other social sciences. Instead of conducting experiments or gathering data from surveys or observations, philosophers often rely on logic and reason to arrive at their conclusions.

Others counter this argument by pointing out that not all social sciences rely solely on empirical evidence-gathering methods either. For example, economists often use mathematical models to predict the behavior of individuals and markets, rather than relying solely on data from experiments.


So, is philosophy a social science course The answer remains unclear and may depend on who you ask. While some argue that philosophy does fit within the broad category of social sciences, others contend that it’s not quite a science in the traditional sense.

Regardless of whether or not philosophy is technically a social science, it’s clear that the field has had significant influence on other social sciences and continues to shape our understanding of human society and relationships today.