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Definition: Comparative sciences
, a. [L. comparativus: cf. F.
1. Of or pertaining to comparison. “The comparative
2. Proceeding from, or by the method of, comparison; as, the
comparative sciences; the comparative anatomy.
3. Estimated by comparison; relative; not positive or
absolute, as compared with another thing or state.
The recurrence of comparative warmth and cold.
The bubble, by reason of its comparative levity to
the fluid that incloses it, would necessarily ascend
to the top. --Bentley.
4. (Gram.) Expressing a degree greater or less than the
positive degree of the quality denoted by an adjective or
adverb. The comparative degree is formed from the positive
by the use of -er, more, or less; as, brighter, more
bright, or less bright.
, those which are based on a
comprehensive comparison of the range of objects or facts
in any branch or department, and which aim to study out
and treat of the fundamental laws or systems of relation
pervading them; as, comparative anatomy
, comparative physiology
, comparative philology
, n. [F., fr. L. scientia, fr. sciens, -entis,
p. pr. of scire to know. Cf. Conscience
1. Knowledge; knowledge of principles and causes; ascertained
truth of facts.
If we conceive God's sight or science, before the
creation, to be extended to all and every part of
the world, seeing everything as it is, . . . his
science or sight from all eternity lays no necessity
on anything to come to pass. --Hammond.
Shakespeare's deep and accurate science in mental
2. Accumulated and established knowledge, which has been
systematized and formulated with reference to the
discovery of general truths or the operation of general
laws; knowledge classified and made available in work,
life, or the search for truth; comprehensive, profound, or
All this new science that men lere [teach].
Science is . . . a complement of cognitions, having,
in point of form, the character of logical
perfection, and in point of matter, the character of
real truth. --Sir W.
3. Especially, such knowledge when it relates to the physical
world and its phenomena, the nature, constitution, and
forces of matter, the qualities and functions of living
tissues, etc.; -- called also natural science
Voltaire hardly left a single corner of the field
entirely unexplored in science, poetry, history,
philosophy. --J. Morley.
4. Any branch or department of systematized knowledge
considered as a distinct field of investigation or object
of study; as, the science of astronomy, of chemistry, or
Note: The ancients reckoned seven sciences, namely, grammar,
rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and
astronomy; -- the first three being included in the
Trivium, the remaining four in the Quadrivium.
Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven,
And though no science, fairly worth the seven.
5. Art, skill, or expertness, regarded as the result of
knowledge of laws and principles.
His science, coolness, and great strength. --G. A.
Note: Science is applied or pure. Applied science is a
knowledge of facts, events, or phenomena, as explained,
accounted for, or produced, by means of powers, causes,
or laws. Pure science is the knowledge of these powers,
causes, or laws, considered apart, or as pure from all
applications. Both these terms have a similar and
special signification when applied to the science of
quantity; as, the applied and pure mathematics. Exact
science is knowledge so systematized that prediction
and verification, by measurement, experiment,
observation, etc., are possible. The mathematical and
physical sciences are called the exact sciences.
, Inductive sciences
. See under
, and Inductive
Syn: Literature; art; knowledge.
. Science is literally
knowledge, but more usually denotes a systematic and
orderly arrangement of knowledge. In a more
distinctive sense, science embraces those branches of
knowledge of which the subject-matter is either
ultimate principles, or facts as explained by
principles or laws thus arranged in natural order. The
term literature sometimes denotes all compositions not
embraced under science, but usually confined to the
belles-lettres. [See Literature
.] Art is that which
depends on practice and skill in performance. “In
science, scimus ut sciamus; in art, scimus ut
producamus. And, therefore, science and art may be
said to be investigations of truth; but one, science,
inquires for the sake of knowledge; the other, art,
for the sake of production; and hence science is more
concerned with the higher truths, art with the lower;
and science never is engaged, as art is, in productive
application. And the most perfect state of science,
therefore, will be the most high and accurate inquiry;
the perfection of art will be the most apt and
efficient system of rules; art always throwing itself
into the form of rules.”