Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 E - Empiricism

Empiricism: Based on or derived from experience, especially sense-experience.

The opposite of empiricism is rationalism, in the sense: based on or derived from reason, and then especially assumptions of some divinity. The strong contrast between the two is due to Locke, who was strongly in favour of scientific method, and who believed that this was based on and started in and with sense-experience, and that there is nothing in the mind that did not arrive there through the senses.

Philosophers and philosophies that were favourable to natural science tended to be rather strongly in favour of empiricism, because natural science keeps its theories in check and related to observable reality by experiments that decide whether a scientific theory does or does not predict empirical facts.


See also:


Locke, Nagel, Stegmüller

 Original: Jun 27, 2005                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top