Philosophy and political science are two fields of study that have a lot of overlap. Both deal with fundamental questions about human nature, society, and the role of government.

However, the relationship between these two disciplines is not always clear. So, is philosophy part of political science? Let’s explore this question in more detail.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a branch of study that deals with fundamental questions about reality, existence, and knowledge. It often involves abstract reasoning and critical analysis to understand the world around us. Philosophers explore topics such as ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology.

What is Political Science?

Political science is a field of study that focuses on the theory and practice of government and politics. It examines topics such as political systems, institutions, behavior, and policy-making processes.

Philosophy in Political Science

Many political scientists draw on philosophical concepts to inform their research. For example, theories of justice developed by philosophers like John Rawls or Aristotle have been influential in shaping political debates around issues like income inequality or the role of the state in regulating markets.

Similarly, political scientists often use philosophical frameworks to analyze complex issues such as democracy and political power. The works of philosophers like Michel Foucault or Hannah Arendt have influenced how scholars think about these topics.

The Relationship Between Philosophy and Political Science

While there is certainly overlap between philosophy and political science, it’s important to recognize that they are distinct fields with different aims and methods.

Political science tends to be more empirical in nature; its focus is on collecting data through surveys or experiments to test hypotheses about political phenomena. Philosophy, on the other hand, tends to be more theoretical; it aims to develop abstract concepts that can help us better understand reality.

However, both fields share an interest in understanding human behavior and the nature of society. Philosophers and political scientists both seek to understand why individuals act the way they do and how societies are organized.


In conclusion, while philosophy and political science share many similarities, they are distinct fields of study. Political scientists often draw on philosophical concepts to inform their research, but their focus is primarily on empirical data.

Philosophers, on the other hand, tend to be more theoretical in nature and aim to develop abstract concepts that can help us better understand reality. Ultimately, both disciplines have a lot to offer in terms of understanding human behavior and the nature of society.