What is the opposite of natural sciences?

The opposite of natural science can be considered to be social science, which focuses on the study of human behavior, societies, and institutions. While natural science deals with the physical world and natural phenomena, social science examines the complexities of human interactions and societal structures.

Unlike natural science that seeks to understand the laws of nature and the physical universe, social science delves into the realms of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics to analyze human behavior and social patterns. The intersection of these two branches of science provides a comprehensive understanding of both the natural world and human society.

Understanding Natural Science

Natural science is the field of knowledge that studies the physical and natural world using empirical evidence, observation, and experiment. This umbrella term often encompasses branches of study like biology, physics, chemistry, geology, and astronomy. The center of attention in natural science is firmly gripped around physical entities, the natural phenomena, and the laws that govern them.

What is the Opposite of Natural Science?

In the world of academic knowledge and study, contrasting the natural sciences are the social sciences and humanities. These encompass disciplines that explore human society, culture, and thought, instead of focusing on the physical and natural world.

Social Sciences

Social Sciences study the relationships among individuals within a society. They help us understand the social and cultural constructs that shape our world. Disciplines within the social sciences include psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, and political science.

Unlike natural science, social sciences aim at understanding the patterns in human behaviour and social structures. This involves studying social constructs, cultures, societies, human relationships, and social behavior.


Another opposite of natural science is the field of Humanities. Humanities study art, languages, literature, music, philosophy, history, and more. The humanities aim to understand the human condition and the broad spectrum of human experience.

When it comes to methodology, humanities typically involve interpretive approaches. This means methodologies are usually qualitative, emphasising understanding the context and meaning of phenomena, rather on counting or measuring.

While natural sciences use experimentation and empirical data, humanities often utilise critical or speculative methodologies like the interpretive, historical, or comparative analyses.

Differences Between Natural Sciences and Their Opposites

The critical difference between natural science and its opposite is the method of study. Natural Science focuses on quantitative, empirical methods, testing hypotheses under controlled conditions to explain phenomena. On the other hand, social sciences and humanities often employ qualitative, interpretive methods to understand human behavior, society, culture, and thought.

Objectivity vs Subjectivity

The objectivity of natural science differs starkly from the subjectivity often associated with disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. While natural science seeks universal truths and laws that apply to the physical and natural world, social sciences and humanities accept that experiences and truths can be subjective and differ based on culture, society, and individual perception.

The Role of Natural Sciences and its Opposites

Despite their differences, both natural sciences and their opposites have their unique roles. Natural sciences provide us with invaluable knowledge about the physical universe and its laws. In contrast, social sciences and humanities allow us to understand human societies, relationships, cultures, and thoughts, providing us with insights and understandings about the complexity of human existence and culture.

In conclusion, while the natural sciences focus on the empirical and physical, their opposites – social sciences and humanities – illuminate our understanding of the human condition, society and culture. Each domain of study offers its unique perspectives and insights, contributing to the diverse landscape of knowledge and understanding.

The opposite of natural science can be considered as social science, which focuses on the study of human society and behaviors rather than the physical world and natural phenomena.

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