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Empiricists are people who believe in the philosophy of Empiricism. Empiricists believe that knowledge is gained through experience. Empiricists believe in the power of sensory experience and evidence. The way that people make gain experience is through touch, sight, smell, taste, and sound. They also believe that everything a person knows to be true comes from experience. They would argue that there is not a single belief that comes separate from experience. Empiricists are often contrasted to Rationalists who believe that the only way to gain knowledge is through reason.
Empiricism is based on the view of tabula rasa, which means that the mind is a blank canvas. Empiricists believe that the only way to gain knowledge or ideas is through life experience. This view dates back all the way to Aristotle. During the Middle Ages, Aristotle’s tabula rasa was further expanded by Islamic philosophers. Several famous empiricists from the renaissance period were writers Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. Leonardo Da Vinci is often quoted for his empiricist views.
The most famous empiricists are the British empiricists from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Three of the most famous ones are listed here:
- John Locke
- George Berkeley
- David Hume
John Locke is one of the most famous British empiricists. Locke wrote in disagreement with the view the people are born with some form of innate understanding. In his books he wrote that ideas come through experiences. There were several aspects of Locke’s views that other empiricists argued against. Berkeley was another British empiricists. According to Berkeley, God communicates with humanity through their perceptions. One of his goals was to get rid of the part of Locke’s theories that did not align to pure empiricism.
and Scientific Theory
Empiricists who work in science lean heavily on the significance of evidence in their experimentation. This is a fundamental part of the Scientific Theory. Scientists learn about the natural world by experiencing, experimenting, and observing.