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Questions tagged [empiricism]

Empiricism is the view that knowledge comes from sense experience.

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Is geometry mathematical or empirical?

Is Euclidean geometry a mathematical theory, or is it a theory of empirical science? If taking it to be a mathematical theory would it be due to having alternative geometries? If so, is it in some ...
L.M. Student's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
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Does philosophy shed any light on how parties can fruitfully debate without an agreed source of truth?

A hallmark of recent political developments is extreme partisanship, where each side has near total distrust of the other. To exacerbate this situation there has been a breakdown in agreement over ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
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11 answers
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Can empiricism be found in any Eastern Philosophy/philosopher?

I was wondering if any Eastern philosophies/philosophers have adopted points of view similar to those found in the Western view of empiricism, that is (italic in the original SEP entry linked too): ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Ought we only form beliefs based on sufficient empirical evidence?

In The Outsider Test for Faith, John Loftus often makes statements like: Faith, as I argue, is an irrational leap over the probabilities. Probabilities about such a matter are all that matter. We ...
labreuer's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
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Was Aristotle an Empiricist?

When I was taught about Aristotle and Plato, the picture I got was very much like this image from a Raphael fresco: Usually Plato is said to be pointing to the heavens, which represent abstract Forms,...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
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Is it possible that I see color differently?

Is it possible that I see color differently; for example what I call 'red' is 'blue' in your vision. Edited.. As we know the science of color, nothing is colored. Red is not "in" an apple. The ...
KMan's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
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What is Quine's rebuttal to Grice and Strawson's In Defense of Dogma?

In response to Quine's rejection of the analytic-synthetic distinction, Strawson and Grice appear to reduce Quine's rejection (or skepticism) of synonymy to a rejection of meaning. What is/would be ...
nietsnegttiw's user avatar
11 votes
11 answers
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Does philosophy belong to empirical science or formal science?

According to Wikipedia, science can be divided into empirical science (such as natural science and social science) and formal science (such as mathematics, logic, statistics). I was wondering if ...
Tim's user avatar
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2 answers
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What is the relationship between the scientific experimental method and the two espistemologies of empiricism and rationalism

What is the (historical and theoretical) relationship between the scientific experimental method and the two espistemologies of empiricism and rationalism? I can read here and there that the ...
Starckman's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
380 views

Can empiricists and materialists accept metaphysical modality?

There are some propositions such as 1+1=2 that seem to be true in all possible worlds. That is, there is no possible world in which 1+1=2 is not true. Propositions like this that seem to be true in ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
42 votes
8 answers
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What did David Hume mean when he said that "reason is a slave to the passions"?

I don't understand the meaning of this oft-quoted quotation of Hume's in On Reason, namely his saying that "reason is a slave to the passions." What exactly does he mean by that ? Is it simply that ...
Uticensis's user avatar
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Is Hume's Fork self-refuting?

David Hume wrote: If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it ...
Ben's user avatar
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3 answers
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What did Wittgenstein mean by saying that the belief in the causal nexus is a superstition?

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittenstein says: 5.1361 The events of the future cannot be inferred from those of the present. Superstition is the belief in the causal nexus. I'm ...
k0pernikus's user avatar
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What is the contrast between Hume's and Locke's philosophies of science?

I'm writing an essay on Hume and was hoping to contrast his empiricism to Locke's in it. I have come across a commentary, which doesn't go into great depth; could someone explain it in a little ...
Maths That Imo's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
1k views

Can there be information without a "knower"?

I am trying to wrap my head around the principle of conservation of information as formulated by Leonard Susskind and others, which seems to me at first glance to be incompatible with the 2nd law of ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
585 views

Does idealism allow for thought without any sensory input?

As I understand, idealism is the view that the mind is fundamental and the body as well as the world we perceive are just derivatives of the mind. Is this right? If so, if we had a hypothetical being,...
Eyob Tsegaye's user avatar
7 votes
7 answers
466 views

Explaining to my 11 year old why the question "Will robots ever have feelings" is part of philosophy, not science?

My 11 year old is tasked with interpreting a Seneca quote. I started out by trying to explain to him what ethics is by contrasting 'Will robots ever have feelings?' as a question in Philosophy of Mind,...
Alexander S King's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
774 views

Does science provide the most accurate depiction of reality for analyzing and describing an accurate worldview?

I've been fighting throughout my philosophical reading with the question of the necessity of science as the only permitted view we (since the late 19th century) have on the world. My question might ...
Yechiam Weiss's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
578 views

Understanding Sellars' The Myth of the Given rigorously

I understand the general view presented by Sellars in "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind". Yet, I can't get rigorously convinced. The main point is shown in part XIII, specifically in section 35. ...
Amit Hagin's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does existentialism presuppose the supernatural?

When it comes to debates about the existence of an "all powerful all knowing god" believers and non-believers alike often times both agree that the existence of that god can't be scientifically or ...
Josh Miller's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
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What does rationalism prove that empiricism can not?

I have always had trouble understanding rationalism. I am very unclear as to what a rationalist can prove that an empiricist cannot. Are their any examples of something or a situation being ...
Noah's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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What is the name of this view, that consciousness builds reality?

The following is really my own conception, but I have no credentials in philosophy. Nevertheless, I find it quite compelling. It is said (Hegel?) that mind has the property that (a) it is inside ...
DanielFBest's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
375 views

Measurement devices and empiricism

In the first physics lecture I ever visited, the professor shortly demonstrated the fallibility of our senses with a spinning disc optical illusion to justify the use of measurement devices. He didn't ...
viuser's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
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Have there been attempts at modeling 'essential reality'?

By "essential reality" I mean consistent aspects of human nature and those of our temporary and ever-changing physical environment(domain of science) as well as overlapping views on ...
Mark_NoBadCake's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
683 views

Empiricism and Morality

How would an empiricist develop a moral philosophy without running into the is-ought problem? The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris tries to formulate one but does not effectively resolve the is-ought ...
user716881's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
266 views

Does empiricism already possess the seeds of idealism?

Outside Berkeley's philosophy, does empiricism (not radical empiricism or Berkeley's idealist/radical? empiricism) possess the seeds of idealism? If yes, and if it is considered a problem: (1) What ...
Starckman's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is it philosophically tenable to refuse a universal moral system?

Recently, I advocated utilitarianism based on consciousness on Change my View subreddit and I was quite suprised by the opposition against the bare idea of a universal moral system. From my limited ...
Probably's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
83 views

What does Hume mean when he relates association of ideas to languages?

In the Enquiry, section 3 Hume says: Among different languages, even where we cannot suspect the least connexion or communication, it is found, that the words, expressive of ideas, the most ...
R Samuel's user avatar