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Knowledge is a range of skills, facts, description, and information obtained through empirical observation or education. It refers both to theoretical and practical realization of a subject and, therefore, it can be explicit or implicit respectively. In philosophical terms, knowledge is identified with epistemology, or with a justified true belief. In order to obtain knowledge, such cognitive processes as communication, perception, association, and reasoning are used. With regard to the presented terms, scientific knowledge can be considered as an inquiry approach must be premised on gathering measurable and observable evidence that refers to principles of experimentation and reasoning. According to Barnes (2013), scientific knowledge could be regarded as a handful of facts gathering during investigating knowledge and removing all possible biases. Unlike other forms of knowledge, scientist cannot be absolute confident in the facts they have gathered and conclusions they have made. Therefore, there is always a level of uncertainty and skepticism about scientific knowledge.

Prior to understanding the relationship between scientific knowledge and other forms of science, it is purposeful to provide an explanation for the link between science and philosophy. When it comes to the latter, the question concerns the means and essence of inquiry. In the philosophical context, "science is a way of knowing that requires strong philosophical underpinning" (Wenning, 2009, p. 3). Therefore, it is impossible to assume the nature of knowledge without understanding of philosophical frameworks. Moreover, there should be a clear distinction between knowledge and faith because the latter can distort the chain of justified beliefs. Therefore, in order to build justified concepts and beliefs, there should be a fundamental ground of knowledge. Although some of the assumptions could not be denied, such as the fact that the Earth rotates around the Sun, but ancient history proves that these assumptions could be mistaken. Specifically, it had long been considered that the Earth had the form of plateau that stands on three pillars. Therefore, this fact has been concluded on the basis on other justified beliefs whose reliability is not always verified. The very possibility to trust this assumption lies in the acceptance of knowledge by the majority of philosophers and scientists. Therefore, in case a person knows something, rather than believes in something, this person must provide the facts and evidence that support a specific claim. If there is no evidence provided, it could be considered to be a faith or a hypothesis. However, the latter has the right to the existence in the world of science because they allow theorist to continue their quest for the evidence.

Aside from the method of inquiry, the emphasis should be placed on the nature of knowledge supporting a certain scientific assumption. As it has been previously recognized, knowledge is a justified true belief, but there is still a range of biases and inconsistencies could be considered in more detail. For instance, if a certain issue is true, it is believed to be true and this concept is justified. However, it is possible to consider a belief that if the weather is cloudy, it is likely to rain. Therefore, individuals believe in the possibility of rain, when the weather is cloudy, and people are justified in believing that when the weather is cloudy, it is likely to rain. The statement can be true, but in a certain context because all the conditions given are too specific and there might be other alternatives for making the outcomes. In particular, inferential process premised on experience could advocate the claims, unless a presumption is made about the natural laws, which are constant and can be employed across space and time.

There are also many other forms of knowledge, such as common knowledge, empirical knowledge, and observation knowledge. Knowledge could also be considered from the perspective of disciplines it covers. In particular, if knowledge is represented in humanitarian disciplines, experiments are not always relevant for accelerating facts and information. If knowledge is introduced is developed in physics or chemistry, the choice of methods of inquiry should be confined to experiments and testing. In addition, Agrawal (2008) divides knowledge into indigenous and scientific, where the former type focuses on a priori knowledge and the latter introduces a set of proven evidence. What is more important is that indigenous knowledge is represented with a level of probability and, therefore, it does not require induced statements. In contrast to scientific knowledge, there is already a set of facts that were previously been concluded from the existing knowledge. Although the initial knowledge is a justified true belief, it is impossible to know for certain that this knowledge is verified.

In sociological inquiry, no epistemology dominates in a commonly recognized account of knowledge. According to Hall (1990), "if we knew that world to have some coherence of objects, events, and processes in its actuality, that is, independently of our knowledge about it, we would at least knowledge, we would at least know whether our task was to gain valid knowledge about what exists" (p. 331). In this respect, the epistemological framework focuses on the concept of ontology that expands understanding of the social world. Certainly, the difference between ontology and epistemology is evident in case solution is not found. At the same time, the distinction points to the complexity of the issue. More importantly, epistemology embraces a wider context for discussion. In the light of empiricism and positivism, Hall (1990) focuses on an alternative discussion of scientific knowledge. In this respect, scientific knowledge, which is often presented as objective knowledge, is impossible to conceive because all logical deductions made are premised on people's personal attitude to scientific discoveries. Rather, scientific knowledge refers to a set of relative beliefs based on existing facts and evidence. In this respect, numerous philosophers believe that it is impossible to testify relations and develop a set of beliefs about a specific object, which are based on untested assumption. In terms of validity and reliability, it is impossible to state scientific knowledge is a justified true belief because the majority of statements rely on hypothetical knowledge.

With regard to the above-presented biased and ambiguities, it can be argued that scientific knowledge relies partially on other types of knowledge, such as partial knowledge, situated knowledge, or observational knowledge. This reliance, however, does not allow theorists to conclude that this knowledge is worth considering in further investigation endeavors. For instance, scientific knowledge, as a combination of testing and observable evidence, can base their assumptions and concepts on situated knowledge. In this respect, Haraway (2003) provides an alternative outlook on how knowledge could be constructed. By highlighting feminist inquire and the concept of objectivity, the author acknowledges the presence of situated and partial knowledge. While making reference to the type of knowledge, Haraway (2003) admits, "no insider's perspective is privileged, because all drawings of inside-outside boundaries in knowledge are theorized a power moves, not moves toward truth" (p. 22). Thus, from a social constructionist viewpoint, scientific knowledge is mistakenly presented as an objective stance. False assumptions about objectivity can distort the overall conception of knowledge. With regard to the above presented debates, the problem of objectivity is the most serious one because it fails to explain the main essence of scientific inquiry. The feminist discourse revealed by Haraway (2003) allows the theorist to understand how thematic discussion and feminist objectivity are associated with situated knowledge and limited location, but not with dismantling between object and subject.

It should be acknowledged that there are several ways of making inquiries, but not all of them could be regarded as scientific. For instance, it is impossible to rely on deductions on the set of situated beliefs that depend largely on context rather than on an objective matter of facts. However, scientific knowledge cannot be induced because of the impossibility to connect "engineering" and reasoning. At the same time, there should be a specific connection between action and knowledge because it is essential to overcome the difficulty in building an appropriate decision on other attributes of inductive inference.

Aside from scientific inference, there is a challenge of justifying induction. Giere (2012) assumes that inductive logic focuses on general or singular statements stemmed from isolated statements. However, such a method of inquiry does not highlight the link between conclusions and premises. In order to avoid skepticism, it is necessary to resort to non-deductive methods of scientific inference and accept the importance of epistemology in shaping the conclusions. The scientific knowledge often refers to a complicated process of making inquiries and gathering information about an external world. Additionally, Giere (2012) makes a conclusion about statistical knowledge regarding the importance of experimental systems. The researcher notes that singular observations shape the inductive ground for statistical hypotheses that in turn create an inductive ground for developing theories. Although any statistical information may derive from separate inductive statement, it is insufficient for shaping scientific knowledge.

When it comes to scientific knowledge, there should be a distinction between the truth and knowledge. Since science is identified with knowledge, then scientific development is the synthesis of scientific knowledge. At the same time, the philosophical perspective explains why general hypothesis could not be considered to be the foundation of scientific knowledge. It is also impossible to believe that the accumulation of scientific belief is enough for promoting scientific progress because the latter can lack justification. In this respect, Bird (2010) concludes, "only knowledge, which does not have the right justifying connection to the truth, typically through reliable reasoning and good evidence, suffices for scientific progress" (pp. 3-4). The main two factors - reliable reasoning and sufficient evidence - should also be taken into consideration. In this respect, scientific knowledge has a direct relation to empirical and observation knowledge that should be combined in a way to persuade the theorist in the validity of findings.

In conclusion, although scientific knowledge relies on other types of knowledge, its methods of inquiry differ significantly from those accepted in epistemology, ontology, and inductive logic. Specifically, although scientific knowledge can be premised on a single statement deduced from general knowledge, this information cannot be considered valid and reliable because of the absence of contextual background. Unlike scientific knowledge that premises on philosophy and epistemology, many other assumptions are justified on the basis of true beliefs. From a rationalist viewpoint, scientific knowledge could be obtained once the understanding of justified true belief is presented. For instance, knowledge is true if one believes in it and is justified in believing in it. Not all the statements can go through this scheme successfully and, therefore, most of the assumptions made are not valid. Additionally, scientific knowledge could be achieved as soon as objectivity and accuracy are considered. Finally, due to the fact that science implies the analysis of hypothesis for making assumption, most of the theories could be based on unjustified beliefs. However, the importance of hypothetic testing is essential for expanding scientific knowledge. It also provides an underpinning for building facts and discovering evidence.


Agrawal, A. (2008). Dismantling the divide between indigenous and scientific knowledge. Development and change. 26(3), 413-439.

Barnes, B. (2013). Scientific knowledge and sociological theory. London: Routledge.

Bird, A. (2010). The epistemology of science - a bird's-eye view. Synthese. 1-12. Retrieved from

Giere, R. N. (2012). The epistemological roots of scientific knowledge. In G. Maxwell., and R. M. Anderson. (Eds.). Induction, Probability and Confirmation. (pp. 212-261), Minnesota: University of Minnesota press.

Hall, J. R. (1990). Epistemology and sociohistorical inquiry. Annual Review of Sociology. 16, 329-351.

Haraway, D. (2003). Situated knowledge: The science questions in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. In Y. S. Lincoln & N. K. Denzin (Eds.), Turning points in qualitative research: Tying knots in a handkerchief. (pp. 21-47). Lanham, MR: Rowman Altamira.

Wenning, C. J. (2009). Scientific epistemology: How scientists know what they know. Illinois State University Physics. 3-15.

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