You are on page 1of 3

Formal science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Create account Log in

Article Talk

Read Edit source Edit

beta

View history

Formal science
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Main page Contents Featured content Current events Random article Donate to Wikipedia Interaction Help About Wikipedia Community portal Recent changes Contact page Toolbox Print/export Languages Bn-lm-g Catal Deutsch Espaol Franais Ido Interlingua slenska Nederlands Portugus / srpski Svenska Trke 1 History 2 Differences from other forms of science 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links

This article needs additional citations for verification . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2011) Formal sciences are disciplines concerned with formal systems, such as logic, mathematics, statistics, theoretical computer science, information theory, game theory, systems theory, decision theory, and portions of linguistics. Whereas natural sciences and other sciences like social sciences, behavioral sciences, and cognitive science seek soundness of scientific theory with respect to observations in order to successfully predict and perhaps accurately explain phenomena in the external world, the formal sciences are concerned with the internal properties of formal systems, especially definitions of terms and rules governing inferences.
Part of a series on

Science
Formal sciences Physical sciences Life sciences Social sciences Applied sciences Interdisciplinarity Philosophy and history of science Outline Portal Category
V

[show] [show] [show] [show] [show] [show] [show]

T E

Formal sciences sometimes aid constructing, assessing, and testing scientific theories and scientific models, however, by revealing inconsistencies or invalid forms of inference.
Contents [hide]

History

[ edit source| edit

beta

Formal sciences began before the formulation of scientific method, with the most ancient mathematical texts dating back to 1800 BC (Babylonian mathematics), 1600 BC (Egyptian mathematics) and 1000 BC (Indian mathematics). From then on different cultures such as the Indian, Greek and Islamic mathematicians made major contributions to mathematics, while the Chinese and Japanese, independently of more distant cultures, developed their own mathematical tradition. Besides mathematics, which is not classified as a science [ citation needed] , logic is another example of one of oldest subjects in the field of the formal sciences. As an explicit analysis of the methods of reasoning, logic received sustained development originally in three places: India from the 6th century BC, China in the 5th century BC, and Greece between the 4th century BC and the 1st century BC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_science[8/10/2013 1:41:09 AM]

Formal science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Winaray Edit links

The formally sophisticated treatment of modern logic descends from the Greek tradition, being informed from the transmission of Aristotelian logic, which was then further developed by Islamic logicians. The Indian tradition also continued into the early modern period. The native Chinese tradition did not survive beyond antiquity, though Indian logic was later adopted in medieval China. As a number of other disciplines of formal science rely heavily on mathematics, they did not exist until mathematics had developed into a relatively advanced level. Pierre de Fermat and Blaise Pascal (1654), and Christiaan Huygens (1657) started the earliest study of probability theory. In the early 1800s, Gauss and Laplace developed the mathematical theory of statistics, which also explained the use of statistics in insurance and governmental accounting. Mathematical statistics was recognized as a mathematical discipline in the early 20th century. In the mid-twentieth century, mathematics was broadened and enriched by the rise of new mathematical sciences and engineering disciplines such as operations research and systems engineering. These sciences benefited from basic research in electrical engineering and then by the development of electrical computing, which also stimulated information theory, numerical analysis (scientific computing), and theoretical computer science. Theoretical computer science also benefits from the discipline of mathematical logic, which included the theory of computation.

Differences from other forms of science

[ edit source| edit

beta

One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts. Albert Einstein [1] As opposed to empirical sciences (natural and social), the formal sciences do not involve empirical procedures. They also do not presuppose knowledge of contingent fact, or describe the real world. In this sense, formal sciences are both logically and methodologically a priori, for their content and validity are independent of any empirical procedures. Although formal sciences are conceptual systems, lacking empirical content, this does not mean that they have no relation to the real world. But this relation is such that their formal statements hold in all possible conceivable worlds (see valid formula) whereas, statements based on empirical theories, such as, say, General Relativity or Evolutionary Biology, do not hold in all possible worlds, and may even turn out not to hold in this world. That is why formal sciences are applicable in all domains and useful in all empirical sciences. Because of their non-empirical nature, formal sciences are construed by outlining a set of axioms and definitions from which other statements (theorems) are deduced. In other words, theories in formal sciences contain no synthetic statements; all their statements are analytic. [2][3]

See also

[ edit source| edit

beta

Rationalism Abstract structure Abstraction in mathematics Abstraction in computer science

Formal grammar Formal language Formal method Formal system Mathematical model
Book: Formal science

References

[ edit source| edit

beta

1. ^ Albert Einstein (1923). "Geometry and Experience". Sidelights on relativity . Courier Dover Publications. p.27. Reprinted by Dover (2010), ISBN 978-0-486-24511-9.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_science[8/10/2013 1:41:09 AM]

Formal science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 2. ^ Carnap, Rudolf (1938). "Logical Foundations of the Unity of Science". International Encyclopaedia of Unified Science I . Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 3. ^ Bill, Thompson (2007), "2.4 Formal Science and Applied Mathematics", The Nature of Statistical Evidence , Lecture Notes in Statistics 189 (1st ed.), Springer, p.15

Further reading

[ edit source| edit

beta

Mario Bunge (1985). Philosophy of Science and Technology . Springer. Mario Bunge (1998). Philosophy of Science . Rev. ed. of: Scientific research . Berlin, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1967. C. West Churchman (1940). Elements of Logic and Formal Science , J.B. Lippincott Co., New York. James Franklin (1994). The formal sciences discover the philosophers' stone History and Philosophy of Science . Vol. 25, No. 4, pp.513533, 1994 Bernt P. Stigum (1990). Toward a Formal Science of Economics . MIT Press Marcus Tomalin (2006), Linguistics and the Formal Sciences. Cambridge University Press William L. Twining (1997). Law in Context: Enlarging a Discipline. 365 pp. . In: Studies in

Stephen Leacock (1906). Elements of Political Science . Houghton, Mifflin Co, 417 pp.

External links

[ edit source| edit

beta

Interdisciplinary conferences Foundations of the Formal Sciences Categories: Formal sciences

This page was last modified on 28 June 2013 at 22:02. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization. Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers Contact Wikipedia Mobile view

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formal_science[8/10/2013 1:41:09 AM]