Human and Social sciences

No field of study is more important to human beings than the social sciences. To understand society is to learn not only the conditions that limit our lives but also the opportunities open to us for improving the human condition. Increasing our knowledge of human society is as important as learning more about mathematics, physics, chemistry, or engineering, for unless we can develop societies in which human beings can live happy, meaningful, and satisfying lives, we cannot reap the benefits from learning how to make better automobiles and skyscrapers, traveling in space, or constructing faster computers. Albert Einstein summed it up: “Politics is more difficult than physics and the world is more likely to die from bad politics than from bad physics.”

Because all expressions of human culture are related and interdependent, to gain a real understanding of human society we must have some knowledge of all its major aspects. If we concentrate on some phases and neglect others, we will have a distorted picture. But social science today is such a vast complex that no one student can hope to master all of it. For this reason, social science itself has been broken up into various subjects such as anthropology, sociology, history, geography, archaeology, economics, political science, and psychology, etc. This list of social science disciplines is both too broad and too narrow. It is too broad because parts of the fields of history, geography, archaeology, anthropology and psychology should not be included as social sciences. For instance, parts of history, archaeology and geography belong in the humanities, and parts of psychology belong in the natural sciences. The list is too narrow because new social sciences are emerging, such as cognitive science and sociobiology that incorporate new findings and new ways of looking at reality.

Because all knowledge is interrelated, there are inevitable problems in defining and cataloging the social sciences. Often, it is difficult to know where one social science ends and another begins. Not only are the individual social sciences interrelated, but the social sciences as a whole body are also related to the natural sciences and the humanities. For instance, in order to understand history, it is helpful, even necessary, to understand geography; to understand economics, it is necessary to understand psychology. Similar arguments can be made for all of the social sciences.

The study of social science is more than the study of the individual social sciences. Although it is true that to be a good social scientist you must know each of those components, you must also know how they interrelate. That is why it is necessary to have a course covering the main disciplines incorporated under the field of social science

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