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LazyLich t1_ir0dnsh wrote

So what about when you ponder and afyer a time, you learn something about yourself? Is that some other "-ism"?
Or is that still argued as empiricism cause the ideas and tools you used to look inward had to be learned from "outside yourself" through sensory experience?


pando93 t1_ir1g4p6 wrote

The idea is that you don’t have any innate knowledge that comes from sensory experience or manipulation on that experience.

In fact, Hume argues that the entire concept of self is a sensory illusion in a way.


wabooj t1_ir0qrtm wrote

I’d say it’s still empiricism ; my argument would be that “experience” is the key word in “sensory experience”. Perhaps sensory experience is more than physical perception/sensation and inward sense is still sensory experience. Contrasted with rationalism, ie. knowledge can be passed via words, language, I think it tracks for the purpose of this argument.


[deleted] t1_ir219ek wrote



Eatinbeansallday t1_ir2xg2m wrote

Berkeley, Locke, and Hume all use extensive rational analysis, so I don’t think using rational analysis takes you out of the realm of empiricism


CatJamarchist t1_ir1gnkc wrote

I wasn't able to read through the whole article as I'm busy with work - but maybe someone can help me understand better.

The whole claim that "knowledge is derived only from sensory experience" seems strange to me - especially considering the scientific study of things like astrophysics - or frankly anything that humans cannot directly observe with the natural senses. Like, the human understanding of the existance and dynamics of a black hole, or gravitational waves, is based on numerical data, usually produced by a mechanical sensor of some kind, and then analyzed through an excel spreadsheet. To say that the knowledge derived from that information is based exclusively on the sensory experience of visually reading an excel spreadsheet or graphs seems a little weird.


Stupid_Idiot413 t1_ir1qv28 wrote

You can experiment with a lens and light to gain information about how light behaves. Then, by seeing how electricity behaves, making basic circuits, and then more advanced sensors... you can get information on things you can't normally see.

Each sensory experience helps contextualize the next. And besides, our eyes are sensors, a camera is only a few more steps removed.


CatJamarchist t1_ir1tlpr wrote

>... you can get information on things you can't normally see.

Isn't this just the process of createing knowledge through deduction instead of direct observation?

>Each sensory experience helps contextualize the next.

But what about things that are impossible to directly sense? Regardless of how powerful the sensor is, we'll never directly observe a black hole - it just not how physics works. Instead we can only observe indirect evidence of a black hole - such as an accretion disk, or the rapid, unexpected movement of stars - to deduce the existance of a black hole.


Stupid_Idiot413 t1_ir20hbp wrote

>Isn't this just the process of createing knowledge through deduction instead of direct observation?

All knowledge is based on some combination of observation and deduction, except for the fact of our own existence. For example, I believe that other people have minds, or that a room still exists when I'm not there, but there is no direct evidence of that.


corrective_action t1_ir1qk6k wrote

That still falls under empiricism, since it's based on observation. Yes we use tools to augment our perception, but the knowledge isn't generated by thinking/deducing. That's the difference.


CatJamarchist t1_ir1svwg wrote

>but the knowledge isn't generated by thinking/deducing

But.. this isn't true?

Take the black hole example for instance. It's physcially impossible to directly observe a black hole. Yet, based on the observations of the movement of material around a back hole, we can deduce it's existance, and even begin to characterize the physical laws governing how the black hole 'works' - but this is all based on indirect observation.

The same things occurs the opposite end of the scale too. For example it's impossible for biochemists to directly observe things like bond angle, bond length or the location of an electron in a bond - instead, these things are deduced (to relatively a high decree of certainty) based a combination of a bunch of indirect observation and indirect testing to confirm the theories.


blackr3dd t1_ir2159e wrote

The main thing to understand here is that none of your examples given here could be discovered through pure rationalism.

Descartes, for example, could not sit on his armchair and -- without any observation -- come to the conclusion of a black hole. What empiricism is saying, and what you've already said in your previous answers, is that to deductively assert the proposition of a black hole, we still need to observe 'around' the black hole, or however you want to put it.

To conclude, take observe out of your argument, and you have nothing, it must first be derived from the senses, even if that entity is not directly observable, it is inferible from previous observations of other empirical phenomena.


BeedogsBeedog t1_ir4nrca wrote

Observation without analysis is equally meaningless, to give one priority over the other is silly.


blackr3dd t1_ir6gnqx wrote

No, it isn't, since the claim of empiricism is that all knowledge is derived from experience. It doesn't matter what analysis is done afterwards, considering that it wouldn't exist in the first place without the sensibility picking up on raw datum from the physical world.


BeedogsBeedog t1_ir96tni wrote

The experience is equally meaningless without analysis, there's an argument to be made that meaningful observations can't even exist without analysis. When you see the world that's not raw sensory input that's a picture your brain built out of it. Just because the analysis is automatic doesn't mean it's not important.


blackr3dd t1_irbtjq2 wrote

You're not even arguing against me right now. I don't deny the importance of reflection or reason. I am simply defending the claim that all knowledge is first derived from the senses.

Also, you could argue that, sensibility exists without reason, when you take a look at the animal kingdom. Whereas reason CANNOT exist without the sensibility. Imagine you're born into a world cut off from all the senses; impossible, since there would be nothing.

Thus it follows that sensibility is the independent and reason the dependant, it wholly relies on the subject to be able to perceive through sensibility.


thegoldphish t1_iread9f wrote

Tell me how to place knowledge inside your brain without you having to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch something.


CatJamarchist t1_ireuejy wrote

Well, leaving something like direct brain stimulation aside.. deduction?

For exmaple, if you observe the lengths of 2 sides of a triangle, you can quite easily use a little logic and math to deduce the 'knowledge' of the third side of the triangle.


thegoldphish t1_irewin1 wrote

> if you observe the lengths of 2 sides of a triangle

Tell me how to "observe the lengths of 2 sides of a triangle" without you having to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch something.


How can one OBSERVE length without sight?


CatJamarchist t1_ireynuo wrote

Oh that doesn't matter, yes you observe the first two lengths with sight, read the numbers or whatever - but the length and angles of the third length, cannot be observed, nor do they need to be observed for the knowledge about it to be understood.


thegoldphish t1_irf83ki wrote

I get what you are saying but the point of all this was that none of what you said is ever going to be possible without using one or all of your senses to accomplish it.


Hot-Perception2018 t1_ir1wwgh wrote

Lack of information creates information through the senses, but to answer your question, a few of the problems you are raising is past the circle of meaning that these theory’s tried to circumscribe.

In response to the other answers you got, notice how you addressed with 19/20th century science, that is one of the reasons the empiricism failed along the way (it had a lot of problems even within its time) but the main problem that derives to from this perspective, especially to someone like you or me from the 20/21th is that Empiricism understand “data”, “objects” as a thing with meaning, we “extracted” knowledge from the objects, much of the 19th century philosophy was the transition and understanding that we Create data.

Now Hume is a bit of a more special case where we don’t learn things but by “experiencing” things we, in a non action base, derive knowledge from it.

This is all very complex and I’m trying to just give you a picture of the whole, if we go in specifics a lot more needs to be said and precised.