The branches of science, also referred to as sciences, "scientific fields", or "scientific disciplines," are commonly divided into three major groups: Natural sciences: the study of natural phenomena. Natural science can be divided into two main branches: physical science and life science or biological science. Social sciences: the study of human behavior and societies. Formal sciences: the study of logic, mathematics, which use an a priori, as opposed to empirical, methodology. Natural and social sciences are empirical sciences, meaning that the knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and must be capable of being verified by other researchers working under the same conditions. This verifiability may well vary even within a scientific discipline Natural, social, and formal science make up the fundamental sciences, which form the basis of interdisciplinary and applied sciences such as engineering and medicine. Specialized scientific disciplines that exist in multiple categories may include parts of other scientific disciplines but often possess their own terminologies and expertises.
Formal science is a branch of science studying formal language disciplines concerned with formal systems, such as logic, mathematics, statistics, theoretical computer science, artificial intelligence, information theory, game theory, systems theory, decision theory, and theoretical linguistics. Whereas the natural sciences and social sciences seek to characterize physical systems and social systems, respectively, using empirical methods, the formal sciences are language tools concerned with characterizing abstract structures described by symbolic systems. The formal sciences aid the natural and social sciences by providing information about the structures the latter use to describe the world, and what inferences may be made about them.
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