eldin raigmore wrote:
If "repetition" would be an absolute criterion for science, it would rule out much of philosophy, history , the social sciences and the humanities.
Nobody has ever claimed that philosophy nor history nor the humanities are science.
Philosophy isn't a kind of science; rather, science is a kind of philosophy, namely the kind for which repeated observations can establish things.
History has an entirely different and actually quite unrelated standard-of-sufficient-evidence than science; also an entirely different and unrelated standard-of-falsification.
I use "science" in the broad sense (like many philosophers of science); for any systematic pursuit of knowledge. I find it a bit unfortunate that "science" in colloquial English usage has been reserved to a subset of scientific disciplines (mainly those dealing with natural phenomena).
A part of the problem is, as Micamo writes, that saying that something is "nonscientific" for many people more or less has come to equal "nonsensical".
Humanities, other than philosophy or history, aren't even about truth for the most part; they're about goodness and beauty instead. "Humanities" comes from "letters humane" contrasting with "letters divine"; it's all the writings that aren't art or science or theology-or-divinity-related that many people would want to collect and study and teach. But it includes belles lettres, which might be art. ("Liberal arts" are the "arts, sciences, and letters", that every free man should study, in order to participate in his nation as a free citizen.)
Goodness and beauty can still be about truth. And even if they were not about truth, a large part of humanities are descriptive; they seek to describe various features of reality, rather than to evaluate it. Whether the humanities succeed in this is another question.
The social sciences are "soft sciences" rather than "hard sciences". "Hard sciences" are mathematicizable and experimentable. Psychology is on the boundary; it's either the hardest soft science or the softest hard science. Economics is also somewhat softish and somewhat hardish at the same time.
Sociology, OTOH, has often been accused, with evidence (not necessarily amounting to proof), of not being a science at all.
The same is true of cultural anthropology.
Astronomy is definitely not a laboratory science. Repeated and widespread observation have to take the place of experiment. But it is mathematicizable. Most people would consider it harder than, or at least as hard as, psychology; but softer than chemistry or physics.
Mathematics is not a science. The standard of proof in mathematics doesn't involve experiment at all.
Linguistics, like cultural anthropology, and like sociology, is quite soft. Like astronomy, all three of these disciplines are hard to conduct laboratory experiments in. But unlike astronomy, and like psychology, they're not very mathematicizable.
Clearly there is a kind of "hierarchy", where some scientific disciplines are more "ideally scientific" than others (they have a higher degree of precision, more objective, are less likely to be influenced by subjective feelings or ideological preconceptions.)
Physics and chemistry are close to "ideal" sciences. Life sciences (biology, medicine, etc.) may be slightly less. When it comes to social sciences/humanities, psychology and economics are quite scientific. I have more doubts about many parts of sociology, anthropology, etc.