Difference between Formal and Factual Sciences

Its purpose is the study of abstract ideas and the factual sciences study the facts of nature. Science in general is a body of ideas specialized by rational, systematic, exact, verifiable and fallible knowledge.

The factual sciences contend with propositions of the type (kinetic energy depends on mass and velocity), which are evidenced by observation and experiment. The formal sciences appeal to the type of propositions of the type (every number with exponent zero is equal to one), which are independent of experience.

Formal Sciences

They study ideas, that is, they do not refer to anything that is located in reality. They are rational, systematic and verifiable, but they are not objective, they do not provide us with information about reality and they do not delve into the facts. They deal with correct subjects that only exist in the minds of people.

Characteristics of the formal sciences

  • They deal with symbols and the relationships that are established between them, without having to resort to experience to obtain results.
  • prove or prove.
  • It is self-sufficient: they build their own study essences as an abstraction of real objects.
  • It is based on analytical formulas to formulas that can be confirmed by simple rational study.

 example of formal science


It is the science of numbers, quantities and spaces. Its essence of study is ideas, the fruit of the human imagination.

Factual Sciences

This science studies the facts that occur in nature and delve into the facts and events that occur in the world and that we can know through experience.

Characteristics of factual sciences

  • They test hypotheses: It begins with a previous doubt to which a possible explanation or “hypothesis” is given.
  • They have a passive and active character: the observation is passive: this means that the observation is the main source of data for the scientist. Through experimentation, the scientist inspects the phenomena that he wants to actively study.
  • It is based on mathematical resources to consider, measure, and translate natural phenomena.
  • It has analytical formulas and synthetic formulas.

Types of factual sciences


In the factual sciences we find two sets:

  • Natural sciences: They are responsible for studying the natural, physical and chemical phenomena that make up the Universe. Physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry are natural sciences.
  • The social sciences : These are disciplines that study the phenomena related to the human being, their behavior and interaction. In these sciences we find psychology, sociology and economics.

Factual Science Example


This science studies living beings and covers a variety of fields such as ecology, botany, zoology, microbiology, among others.

Formal and Factual Sciences

formal sciences factual sciences
Definition Study subjective abstract entities. They study objective events of nature.
object of study Ideals material facts
Statements relationships between numbers. Relations between events and methods.
Method inductive inference. Research and experimentation.
examples Mathematics, logic and computer science. Physics, chemistry, biology, sociology and economics.

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