Difference between Empirical Knowledge and Scientific Knowledge

Knowledge has existed since the beginning of time, and in order to transmit information to future generations, it was necessary to show or teach how to do things. But to the extent that the world has evolved, the ways of knowing have also done so, since these have adopted a more formal and methodical character, thus giving rise to various branches of knowledge.

What is Empirical Knowledge?

Empirical knowledge is that which provides experience and is transmitted from generation to generation; It is that knowledge that is acquired day by day, informally and without complying with established processes. The acquisition of empirical knowledge is subjective, that is, everyone chooses or not to learn it according to their own criteria, and it depends on social demands or daily need, the disposition that a person may have to consider learning something new.

Practice plays an important role in empirical knowledge, and repetition is what reinforces this learning. In the case of riding a bicycle, doing it on different occasions is what will allow you to consolidate this skill.

To use empirical knowledge, the use of the sense organs is required, because through them it is possible to know properties of the elements that it would not be possible to determine through a written text. For example, in the kitchen, the support of smell and taste is required to give food the expected finish.

What is Scientific Knowledge?

Scientific knowledge refers to the knowledge that is obtained through systematic processes that use observation, experimentation and verification of facts, to establish theories, principles or rules of operation of the physical, social or psychological world. This scientific knowledge derives from science and its variety covers the different areas of studies developed to promote understanding about something specific, determining the what and why of things.

The knowledge considered scientific must follow a series of steps established in the scientific method, which rigorously verify the phenomena present in the natural or social environment, in order to verify the results.

Through scientific knowledge is that various theories have been established, which can be modified over time thanks to the findings of new techniques that allow an increasingly accurate analysis of certain elements or, equally, a theory can change in view of the variation of reality that throws new conditions, which motivate researchers to focus on knowing the changes of the phenomena.

Scientific knowledge has fundamental characteristics that differentiate it from other knowledge, such as:

  • Critical: able to question between what is true and false, even generating doubt between the results.
  • Grounded: based on rigorous data collection and procedures
  • Methodical: it is systematic, orderly and strictly complies with the steps to be followed, since otherwise, the study loses validity
  • Verifiable: its results can be verified, by repeating the procedure under the same conditions and yielding the same findings.
  • Universal: knowledge is transferable to other parts of the world, obtaining with the same effect.
  • Explanatory: establishes laws or detailed constant principles during the obtaining process.
  • Objective: the findings are generalizable to a group.

It is clear that scientific knowledge pursues the why of things, to accurately understand the phenomena and thus establish laws or principles that allow conclusions to be generated that are valid in any context.

Difference between Empirical Knowledge and Scientific Knowledge

  • Scientific knowledge is acquired through the study of theories, laws or principles from the academy; On the other hand, empirical knowledge is more informal, since it is the learning that occurs on a day-to-day basis from everyday life.
  • Empirical knowledge is useful in situations of daily life, while scientific knowledge explains the why of things with a foundation that supports it.
  • The rigor of the scientific method is what guarantees the objectivity of a study. On the other hand, with empirical knowledge, the person, according to his own needs, can choose whether or not to acquire a new experience.
  • Scientific knowledge is the result of a methodical process, verified and contrasted, unlike empirical knowledge that is the result of common experience.
  • Empirical knowledge varies according to each person or culture, who can add or remove elements that they consider to adapt it more to their interests. On the contrary, scientific knowledge excludes any possibility of variation, so its precepts are universal in nature and applicable to any reality with similar conditions.

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