Empiricism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 23 pages of information about Empiricism.
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Empiricism and Skepticism

Some forms of rationalism, for example, the Platonic theory already referred to, are meant to be answers to skepticism. They presuppose that an adequate reply to philosophical skepticism can be given only by showing that reason can provide forms of knowledge where error is logically excluded. The search for certainty, so intimately associated with seventeenth-century rationalism in general and René Descartes in particular, aimed at showing that knowledge is possible because there are some things about which we cannot be wrong. Empiricism can be a rival to rationalism, not just in the sense already noted—that it may reject the supposition that reason by itself, without reference to sense perception, can provide knowledge—but also in the sense that it proposes an alternate way of arriving at certainty. Empiricism, in this sense, is the thesis that the certainty required to answer the...

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This section contains 6,645 words
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Empiricism from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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