What Is the Different Between Social Science and Philosophy?


Martha Robinson

Social Science and Philosophy are two distinct fields of study that have been in existence for centuries. Both fields focus on understanding human behavior, society, and the world around us.

However, there are key differences between the two disciplines that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the differences between Social Science and Philosophy.

What is Social Science?

Social Science refers to a branch of science that studies human behavior, society, and relationships among individuals. It encompasses a wide range of subjects such as anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, psychology, and geography. Social scientists use scientific methods to study social phenomena such as social norms, culture, social inequality, social change and social institutions.

Examples of Social Sciences:

– Sociology: The study of human society and social interaction. – Anthropology: The study of humans past and present. – Economics: The study of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

– Political Science: The study of government systems and political behavior. – Psychology: The scientific study of human mind and behavior. – Geography: The study of lands, features, inhabitants.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy, on the other hand, is a discipline that focuses on fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, ethics and values. It is an inquiry into the nature of reality through critical analysis and reflection rather than empirical observation.

Philosophers aim to answer complex questions such as “what is the meaning of life?” or “what is truth?” by using logic reasoning.

Examples of Philosophical Questions:

– What is reality? – What can we know?

– What ought we to do? – What is right or wrong?

Differences Between Social Science And Philosophy

One key difference between Social Science and Philosophy lies in their methodologies. While Social Science employs empirical and scientific methods to study human behavior, Philosophy relies on critical thinking and logical reasoning.

Social Science is concerned with understanding human behavior through observation, experimentation, and statistical analysis. It relies on data collection to make generalizations about human behavior. Philosophy, on the other hand, is more concerned with the abstract concepts of reality, knowledge, and ethics.

Another significant difference between Social Science and Philosophy is their subject matter. Social Science focuses on studying society and its institutions such as family, education, religion, politics and economics while Philosophy focuses on fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, ethics, truth etc.


In conclusion, while Social Science and Philosophy share some similarities in terms of their focus on human behavior and society. However, they differ in their methodologies and subject matter.

Social Science is more empirical while philosophy is more focused on abstract concepts. Both fields have made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us.