What is the difference between empirical, scientific, philosophical and theological knowledge?

The difference between empirical, scientific, philosophical and theological knowledge is how we acquire it.

  • Empirical knowledge concerns popular knowledge. It is what we learn from our interaction and observation of the world;
  • Scientific knowledge comprises information and facts that are proven through science;
  • Philosophical knowledge is born from the reflections that human beings make on subjective questions;
  • Theological, or religious, knowledge is based on religious faith, believing that it holds the absolute truth.
Empirical Scientific Philosophical Theological
What is This type of knowledge arises from the interaction of the human being with the environment that surrounds him. It includes information and facts that have been proven, based on scientific analysis and tests. It is the knowledge that arises from man’s reflections on immaterial and subjective issues. He believes that religious faith has absolute truth and offers all the explanations to justify this belief.
Value Valuable, relying on personal experiences. Factual, deals with facts and occurrences. Valuable, since it deals with hypotheses that cannot be observed. Valorative, relying on sacred doctrines.
Verification It is verifiable. It is verifiable. It is not verifiable. It is not verifiable.
Accuracy Fallible and inaccurate. Fallible and approximately accurate. Infallible and accurate. Infallible and accurate.
System Unsystematic, as it is organized based on the experiences of a subject, and not on a study to observe the phenomenon. Systematic, as it is a logically ordered knowledge. It is systematic, as it seeks consistency with reality. Systematic knowledge of the world.

What is empirical knowledge?

It is called popular knowledge. That is, that acquired through the observation and interaction of the human being with the surrounding environment. It is the result of common sense and can be based on experience, without the need for scientific proof.

In it, there is no concern to reflect critically on the object under observation, being limited only to deduction.

As it is acquired through simple deductions and without hard evidence, it is a fallible and inaccurate knowledge. However, it can be verified, because these are things related to everyday life.

Example : A farmer who, even without any study, knows exactly when to plant and harvest each vegetable. This is just by observing and learning from the results of previous harvests.

What is scientific knowledge?

Scientific knowledge is related to logic and critical and analytical thinking. It is the knowledge we have about facts that have been scientifically verified and proven, so that their veracity or falsity can be proven.

It is factual knowledge and is based on proven experiences. For this reason, it is also fallible and approximately accurate, as new ideas can modify previously accepted theories. It is also verifiable, as it arises through scientific results.

Example : The discovery of other planets, through observation with super developed telescopes.

What is philosophical knowledge?

Philosophical knowledge is based on reflection and construction of concepts and ideas, based on the use of reasoning in search of knowledge.

Philosophical knowledge arose from the human being’s ability to reflect, mainly on subjective, immaterial issues, concepts and ideas.

As these are theories that cannot be tested, it is not verifiable. Therefore, it is infallible and accurate.

Example : The thought that machines will one day overlap humans.

What is theological knowledge?

Theological, or religious, knowledge is based on religious faith. Thus, it is believed that religion is the absolute truth and has all the explanations for the mysteries that surround the human mind.

There is no need for scientific verification for a certain “truth” to be accepted from the perspective of religious knowledge. In this way, theological knowledge is infallible and accurate, since it is a supernatural truth.


Leave a Comment