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Questions tagged [empiricism]

Empiricism is the view that knowledge comes from sense experience.

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4answers
2k views

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 ...
12
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6answers
742 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
959 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 ...
39
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7answers
63k views

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 ...
7
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2answers
650 views

Quine - two dogmas of empiricism

I'm trying to understand this paper. Seems to me like it all stems from a rejection of "meaning"... ie: Quine is saying statements don't mean anything. And this is what leads to the rejection of the ...
13
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2answers
15k views

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,...
8
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2answers
808 views

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 ...
20
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14answers
4k views

What is a straight line?

I am not a philosopher; I am an engineer with a reasonable grasp of mathematics. This question has been bothering me for a long time, and I have asked a variation of it to a mathematical community. ...
15
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
9
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
7
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5answers
889 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 ...
6
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3answers
6k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
97 views

Thought experiments and empiricism

The debate between Norton and Brown regarding whether thought experiments transcend empiricism is interesting with Norton suggesting that thought experiments do not transcend empiricism. If one had ...
10
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11answers
6k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
517 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
347 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,...
4
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2answers
204 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 ...
2
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2answers
238 views

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 ...