Definition of empiricism in English:



mass nounPhilosophy
  • The theory that all knowledge is based on experience derived from the senses. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.

    Compare with phenomenalism
    • ‘He is however thoroughly within the tradition of British empiricism in philosophy.’
    • ‘There were errors of interpretation in feminists' critiques, for example, concerning the extent to which analytic philosophy incorporated empiricism.’
    • ‘In this way his practice is closest to Aristotelian critical empiricism that requires careful observation and a comprehensive theory that will make those observations meaningful.’
    • ‘Ryle's attitude to dispositions is part of the heritage of logical empiricism.’
    • ‘The temporal delimitation suggests an arbitrary empiricism reluctant to address either the agony of contemporaneity, or the pathological prehistory of modernity.’
    • ‘Emerging in the eighteenth century, political economy drew on the individualism of Hobbes and Locke, the pragmatism of Machiavelli, and the empiricism of Bacon.’
    • ‘Empiricism certainly has a role to play, but it cannot be the empiricism of ivory tower academics, and it cannot be an exclusive role.’
    • ‘Yet habit is the linchpin for the philosophical way of thinking that James called radical empiricism, and later pragmatism.’
    • ‘Fernow played up a widely accepted historical dichotomy between European theory and British empiricism in science.’
    • ‘The central problematics of feminist empiricism can be captured in two apparent paradoxes.’