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Empiricism is the claim that sense experience is the sole source of our knowledge about the world. (Lawhead, 55) According to Empiricists, such as John Locke, all understanding comes from direct sense experience. Locke’s idea of understanding originates from his belief that the mind is a “blank slate or tabula rosa” at birth, and our experiences are written upon the slate. For that reason, there are no inherent experiences. The three strengths of empiricism that will be described in this paper are: it shows a theory, offers thinking, and motivates others to explore likelihoods in science as an example.
The very first strength of empiricism is it proves a theory. Empiricists think that just real knowledge is empirical. We find out from experiment and observation, and the direct understanding we get from them is empirical. The finest method to know something is to have actually seen it with our own eyes and to be able to show it with repeatable observations or experiments.
In fact a real scientist, or somebody interested in gathering knowledge in a clinical mode of thought, will create concepts for observations and experiments to prove his hypotheses or to address his concerns.
He will always seek empirical evidence initially, and rely on it most. An example of this is if a researcher said the earth is round, we could increase in space and take a look at the earth, take pictures and return to a conclusion that shows the earth is round. They might even go to the degree and measure the earth mathematically.
But in the end, the conclusion would still be that the earth is round. The second strength of empiricism is it gives speculative thinking. Experimental thinking in addition to past experiences and observations are the sources of knowledge for empiricism.
Nevertheless, the speculative thinking, which is based upon cause and impact thinking, is not absolutely and concretely true. All can be based on revision, simply as all goes through some doubt when anticipating what would happen in an experiment. Hume mentions “That the sun will not increase tomorrow is no less intelligible a proposal, and suggests no more contradiction, than the affirmation that it will increase tomorrow” (Aune 43) for the past is not always a direct causation of a future occasion.
Because of this, science, an empirical tool used by mankind to explore the world around him and to learn more about himself, is only work in probability. It is safe, based upon a posteriori knowledge, that the sun will rise tomorrow, for it has for millennia upon millennia, and there has been no event to show that it might not rise tomorrow. Without this experimental reasoning however, Empiricism is reduced to past experiences, and yet with it, one is able to make statements such as “The sun will rise tomorrow” with a great degree of certainty. The third strength of empiricism is it inspires others to explore probabilities in science as an example.
The exploration of the unknown has always lured the curious. Exploring ways to improve our way of living has been a passion of the modern world. So knowing that we could learn a trait that could be used to uncover the unknown is a curiosity that is hard to resist. Empiricism gave the world a direction towards understanding everything around us… it even gave us the curiosity to the unknown and expanded our views, even when it seemed improbable. In our modern views, we have used rational thinking and theoretical ideas to ignite empiricist methods to direct us to solutions, like in the television show Star Trek.
Scientists and inventors watched this popular television shows and after seeing various technologies they went and attempted and succeeded in creating technologies which we take for advantage today. Works Cited Lawhead, William F. The Philosophical Journey: an Interactive Approach. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print. Aune, Bruce. Rationalism, Empiricism, and Pragmatism: an Introduction. Random House, 1970. Print. Markie, Peter, “Rationalism vs. Empiricism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed. ), URL = .
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