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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But there is another characteristic strand to foundationalism, that of empiricism.
▪ He noted that qualitative experience is lost when a reductionist empiricism seeks only quantitative generalizations.
▪ Indeed, they have been embarrassed by them, having so internalized the epistemological criteria of positivism, empiricism and pragmatism.
▪ It is bald assertion, based on what economists call casual empiricism.
▪ It is that the probabilistic idea is in accord with a kind of empiricism.
▪ It therefore rejected empiricism and was particularly critical of utilitarianism.
▪ It was the dawn of the age of empiricism.
▪ The distinction between rationalism and empiricism relates to a distinction between knowledge acquired by reason and knowledge acquired by the senses.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Empiricism \Em*pir"i*cism\, n.

  1. The method or practice of an empiric; pursuit of knowledge by observation and experiment.

  2. Specifically, a practice of medicine founded on mere experience, without the aid of science or a knowledge of principles; ignorant and unscientific practice; charlatanry; quackery.

  3. (Metaph.) The philosophical theory which attributes the origin of all our knowledge to experience.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1650s, in the medical sense, from empiric + -ism. Later in a general sense of "reliance on direct observation rather than theory," especially an undue reliance on mere individual experience; in reference to a philosophical doctrine which regards experience as the only source of knowledge from 1796.\n\nWere I obliged to give a short name to the attitude in question, I should call it that of radical empiricism, in spite of the fact that such brief nicknames are nowhere more misleading than in philosophy. I say 'empiricism' because it is contented to regard its most assured conclusions concerning matters of fact as hypotheses liable to modification in the course of future experience; and I say 'radical,' because it treats the doctrine of monism itself as an hypothesis, and, unlike so much of the half way empiricism that is current under the name of positivism or agnosticism or scientific naturalism, it does not dogmatically affirm monism as something with which all experience has got to square. The difference between monism and pluralism is perhaps the most pregnant of all the differences in philosophy.

[William James, preface to "The Sentiment of Rationality" in "The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy," 1897]


n. 1 A pursuit of knowledge purely through experience, especially by means of observation and sometimes by experimentation. 2 (context philosophy English) A doctrine which holds that the only or, at least, the most reliable source of human knowledge is experience, especially perception by means of the physical senses. (Often contrasted with rationalism.)''Dictionary of Philosophy'', (ed.), Philosophical Library, 1962. ''See:'' "Empiricism" by Morris T. Keeton, p. 89 which explains 9 philosophical senses of "empiricism."''The Encyclopedia of Philosophy'', (ed.), Macmillan, 1967. ''See:'' "Empiricism" by D. W. Hamlyn, vol. 2, pp. 499-505. 3 (context medicine dated English) A practice of medicine founded on mere experience, without the aid of science or a knowledge of principles; ignorant and unscientific practice; the method or practice of an empiric.

  1. n. (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience [syn: empiricist philosophy, sensationalism]

  2. the application of empirical methods in any art or science

  3. medical practice and advice based on observation and experience in ignorance of scientific findings [syn: quackery]


empirical evidence

Empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism and skepticism, empiricism emphasizes the role of empirical evidence in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or traditions; empiricists may argue however that traditions (or customs) arise due to relations of previous sense experiences.

Empiricism in the philosophy of science emphasizes evidence, especially as discovered in experiments. It is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation.

Empiricism, often used by natural scientists, says that "knowledge is based on experience" and that "knowledge is tentative and probabilistic, subject to continued revision and falsification." One of the epistemological tenets is that sensory experience creates knowledge. The scientific method, including experiments and validated measurement tools, guides empirical research.

Empiricism (album)

Empiricism is the fifth studio album by Borknagar, and their first studio album to feature Vintersorg (known as the frontman of the band of the same name) on vocals, along with the addition of Tyr on bass. This would mark the last album appearance of Jens F. Ryland on guitar until 2010.

The album was recorded at Fagerborg Studio and Toproom Studio during June and July 2001, and was mixed and produced by the band and Børge Finstad.

Usage examples of "empiricism".

Like the Copernican shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric view of the solar system, the shift from scientific materialism to radical empiricism entails a shift from a matter-centered concept of reality to a holistic view of mental and physical phenomena as dependently related events.

It's that as we make our way across the historical landscape toward the sensed presence of this transcendental other, so it is making its way toward us through the content of dreams, psychedelic experiences, the careers of spiritually advanced people, -- the idea being that history, which is a state of extreme instability and disequilibrium which only lasts 15 or 20 thousand years, that history is about to be transformed or ended, that the factors that shaped history -- phonetic alphabets, male dominance, materialism, scientific method, empiricism -- these factors are about to be made obsolete by discoveries in the human and natural realm.

Under the 'scientistic' influence of positivism and empiricism, there were claims of a unified empirical science that encompasses all 'real' knowledge, excluding the various attempts to claim an autonomous status for the emerging human sciences of cultural and subjective reality"

With their penchant for linguistic analysis, mathematical logic, and scientific empiricism, they have aligned philosophy with the mystique of science, have begun to transform the philosopher's library or mountain retreat into something nearer to a laboratory, and, as William Earle said, would come to work in white coats if they thought they could get away with it.

If we look at the propositions of the antithesis, we shall find in it a perfect uniformity in the mode of thought and a complete unity of principle, namely, the principle of pure empiricism, not only in the explanation of the phenomena of the world, but also in the solution of the transcendental ideas of the cosmical universe itself.