Empiricism

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Empiricism'

Empiricism Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    empiricism n
  1. (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]
Empiricism Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    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.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Empiricism'


In philosophy, empiricism is a theory of knowledge which asserts that knowledge comes via the sense's experience. Empiricism is one of several competing views that predominate in the study of human knowledge, known as epistemology. Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate ideas or tradition in contrast to, for example, rationalism which relies upon reason and can incorporate innate knowledge.

Empiricism then, in the philosophy of science, emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to 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. Hence, science is considered to be methodologically empirical in nature.

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