Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to know the different between these two words.

The meaning is the same which is social science.

So, what is the difference?

Edit: Sorry for confusing question. I mean the different usage.

share|improve this question
If the meaning is the same, then there is no difference. – user458 Sep 23 '11 at 6:38
@sawa: If there are two words, there is probably a difference, however small. – Dave Sep 23 '11 at 6:59
I think that the question is contradicting itself. You claim that the meanings of 人文科学 and 社会科学 are the same. If that is true, then there is no difference, as sawa stated. – Tsuyoshi Ito Sep 23 '11 at 7:09
perhaps one is "social science" and one is "sociology" ? – Flaw Sep 23 '11 at 7:16
Can two words have exactly the same meaning but different usages? Does the differences in usage disqualify the words from having the right to be considered to have exactly same meaning? – Lukman Sep 23 '11 at 7:46
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Consider the following:

Taken from WWWJDIC's example sentence database:


  • 歴史学は人文科学の一部門である。

History is a branch of the humanities.

  • 哲学研究は人文科学の1つだ。

The study of philosophy belongs to the humanities.


  • その大学の課程は自然科学と社会科学から成り立っている。

That university's curriculum covers natural science and social science.

人文科学 and 社会科学 would correspond to humanities and social science respectively.

Now the question becomes "What is the difference between humanities and social sciences?"

To quote from this article:

Humanities are a branch of science that deals with the heritage and the question of what makes us human. Humanities deal with law, history, ancient languages, modern languages, philosophy, history, religion, and visual/performing arts. Humanities are considered to be more philosophical than social sciences.

As there is a scientific approach to social sciences, it is considered to be a branch of study in between humanities and natural sciences. Anthropology, criminology, administration, archaeology, education, economics, psychology, linguistics, political science, law, and history come under the purview of social sciences.

There is some overlap between humanities and social sciences, but the difference lies in the approach.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.