Philosophy and Science: Unveiling the Essence of Knowledge

Philosophy and Science
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In today’s rapidly evolving world, knowledge has branched into numerous fields, including natural sciences, social sciences, economics, geography, and beyond. But what is the true essence of science, and how should we perceive knowledge in its entirety?

For some, narratives like this might seem inconsequential, and in the digital age, instant access to information, personal needs, and knowledge has become second nature. We no longer need to peruse bookstores or queue up for information, thanks to the convenience of the digital era. With scientific institutions and educational boards at our fingertips, what could go wrong?

But the truth is, amidst this sea of readily available information, it can be overwhelming, especially if you lack the capacity to process the myriad nuances of knowledge. Therefore, before we drift too far from understanding the essence of knowledge, let’s embark on this journey of discovery.

Definition of Science:

To quote the words of Jujun S. Suriasumantri from his book, “PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE,” “Science is the knowledge we grapple with from elementary school to higher education, something we’ve been using since an early age without always realizing it.”

In the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), science is defined as knowledge about a field systematically organized according to specific methods. It’s knowledge that can be employed to explain phenomena within that field.

If we draw from the meaning in usul fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence):

“الْعِلْمُ إِدْرَاكُ الشَّيْءِ عَلَى مَا هُوَ عَلَيْهِ إِدْرَاكًا جَازِمًا”

“Science is knowing something as it truly is, with certain knowledge.”

While numerous explanations delve into understanding the concept of science, many of us might find it challenging to define it precisely.

Definition of Philosophy:

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), philosophy is “knowledge and inquiry, through reason, into the nature of all that exists, its causes, origins, and laws.”

Hasbullah Bakry adds that philosophy is a discipline that explores the universe, humanity, and divinity in intricate detail, striving to generate profound insights. Philosophy represents the foundational knowledge that underpins all other fields and serves as a reference for evaluating the right and wrong within those fields.

In essence, philosophy complements science, often emerging from the quandaries that science presents. Although philosophy is essentially the catalyst for the advancement of science, it still exists as speculation. Every established truth in knowledge stems from speculative studies. New knowledge or science eventually supplants the old, all based on speculation. As Peter Caws posits, the philosophy of science explores all facets of human experience, yielding theories about both humanity and the universe.

The philosophy of science entails a deep, theoretical exploration of the nature of science itself. It’s an intricate realm of thought that encompasses logic, reason, and profound inquiry. It’s a domain that can’t be easily summarized, often seen in thick volumes filled with densely packed text.

Even Imam Al-Ghazali once remarked, “One who doesn’t master mantiq (logic) cannot be trusted in knowledge.” This mantiq, akin to logic and reasoning, intertwines with philosophy. Some even consider it the Arabic philosophy. In Indonesia, philosophy may not take center stage unless we invoke Bung Rocky, a renowned philosopher who has dedicated decades to the discipline. He confidently asserts, “Philosophy used to be called the mother of all knowledge,” highlighting its pivotal role as the source and core of all knowledge.

In conclusion, the philosophy of science serves as an intricate exploration of knowledge, characterized by logic, reason, and profound inquiry. It plays a vital role in shaping our understanding of the world and its various disciplines.