• Empiricism

  • Rationalism

31% 4 votes
69% 9 votes
  • If empiricism is defined as "reasoning from evidence," then I would go with that. Could a true rationalist even be able to believe that the sky is blue or that the grass is green? Could a true rationalist even believe that Mount Rushmore exists?

    Posted by: Kilk1
  • While our senses can sometimes become hoodwinked we only become aware of that through other information which we receive through our senses.

  • It ultimately depends on the topic. On the topics where I've decided, I side with rationalism.

  • Well, both. These can't really be compared like this because empiricists trust what can be sensed and factually observed, but use rationalism to draw conclusions about things that cannot or haven't been seen/sensed. But I chose rationalism because I recognize that not everything is as it seems: people's senses can far too easily be tricked and hoodwinked.

  • The significance of gaining knowledge independent of sense experience is too great to put second to anything. Things aren't always what they seem, sensory derived knowledge will never be as reliable as direct knowledge. Holding to the view that things are what they seem is the leap of faith an empiricist makes, and no less of one than any one else who takes things on faith.

  • When I jump into the air and close my eyes, and have no contact/sensory connection with the outside world, does it cease to exist for that split second? No. Be rational. Gimme that a priori and Mu concept

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Kilk1 says2015-09-07T13:53:04.8604586Z
Well, it seems to me that you must get evidence and then reason from that evidence. Would that be a third option? If not, which one does it fall under?
Philocat says2015-09-07T16:40:37.0972648Z
Both are essential for anyone to live a normal life or engage in philosophical thought that has practical significance. I won't pick between the two - it's like asking to pick between food and drink.
Bob13 says2015-09-07T17:48:14.9797104Z
@Kilk1 that falls under Empiricism
Kilk1 says2015-09-07T18:09:54.2358036Z
@Bob13 But wouldn't this mean that rationalism reasons from a lack of evidence? It really seems to me that what I believe is a third option, that both evidence and reason are needed. I think I just won't vote.
Bob13 says2015-09-07T21:04:36.7605996Z
@Kilk1 if the evidence comes from experience, it is Empirical. If it comes from reason alone, it is Rational.
Kilk1 says2015-09-07T21:59:01.0974984Z
@Bob13 If that's true, than how come anyone would choose rationalism? Why would anyone make practical conclusions if there is nothing from which conclusions can be made? If rationalism is what it sounds like, than I wouldn't expect anyone but troll voters to choose it. So maybe I'm understanding something incorrectly.
Bob13 says2015-09-07T22:06:51.7771668Z
@Kilk1 That's what Empiricists always say. I believe reason is the best way to reach accurate conclusions, but if you disagree, vote Empiricism.
Kilk1 says2015-09-07T22:19:38.1318536Z
@Bob13 I may, but let me first say this to confirm: What statement, if any, can be established by rationalism?
Bob13 says2015-09-07T22:40:51.7864180Z
"The knowledge we gain in subject area S by intuition and deduction or have innately is superior to any knowledge gained by sense experience". This is a Rationalist statement that explains their reasoning. Also, the fact that you wanted evidence that Rationalism is valid instead of using logical reasoning to prove it to yourself means that you're an Empiricist.
Kilk1 says2015-09-07T23:07:54.7456023Z
@Bob13 Can the existence of Mount Rushmore be believed by a pure rationalist?
Bob13 says2015-09-07T23:25:34.0988122Z
If they can see Mount Rushmore, they can use the following reasoning: Its right in front of me. Therefore, it exists.
Kilk1 says2015-09-07T23:47:13.4636807Z
@Bob13 Wait, but then rationalism does use evidence; you used "seeing" Mount Rushmore in front of you as evidence to deduce that it exists. The only way you would know that Mount Rushmore exists, in this scenario, is by using your senses. Therefore, it seems that we actually agree: We should use our senses to gather information and then use logic to deduce more information.
dmussi12 says2015-09-09T20:23:52.3886942Z
@Kilk1 Rationalism accepts the existence of a priori truths - it acknowledges that ideas can be derived from reason alone, and that these ideas are then tested/criticised to see if they are true. The existence of Mount Rushmore can be easily deduced by rationalism: in theory, it is basically imagining every possible thing you could see, then whittle that set down based on sense-datum so only "real" visual concepts like Mount Rushmore are accepted as real. As a counterpoint: how could an empiricist claim that 0x1=0? There is no empirical evidence for the existence of zero (or any other number) - it's an a priori truth. Or, how could empiricism prove the existence of the Higgs Boson? They only found it because a THEORY predicted its existence and properties, and told them exactly where to look. Rationalism is the basis for all philosophy, mathematics, and sciences, not empiricism.
Kilk1 says2015-09-09T20:27:16.7417168Z
I guess I'll just stay out of this philosophical debate.
Kilk1 says2015-09-09T22:46:16.8203785Z
Actually, though, what does empiricism have that rationalists dislike?
dmussi12 says2015-09-10T00:52:19.0663564Z
The notion that theories come AFTER evidence (ie that people think of ideas and explanations after observing certain things) rather than BEFORE (ie that ideas appear and are disproven by evidence or reason)
Kilk1 says2015-09-10T02:35:00.6611190Z
Oh, okay. I think I see the difference. Maybe empiricism could be considered scientific, while rationalism would be considered philosophical. So, for example, if in a debate on evolutionism vs. Creationism, a rationalist atheist probably wouldn't use the following argument illustration: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_us_40bG1tZk/TMwFOK93QEI/AAAAAAAAAS0/EkgX91yiQYs/s1600/Picture+2.png
dmussi12 says2015-09-10T06:59:24.4028090Z
Not exactly. Science is highly rationalist. A great example is Einstein's discovery of General Relativity. He didn't really observe anything that made him draw it as a conclusion, he just did some thought experiments that set him on the right track. His theory turned out to be a good one, and is "supported" by evidence (when a rationalist says evidence supports something, it really means the evidence simply doesn't refute it).
Kilk1 says2015-09-10T20:59:11.2857501Z
Okay, I see more of the difference now. I wouldn't have voted if I knew that. Thanks for your time, you two!
YellowPandaBear says2015-10-23T20:56:14.8802361Z
It's a false dichotomy, rationalism and empiricism must coexist, there cannot be rationalism without empiricism because reality cannot be proven a priori. Without reason to make sense of the data, that's all it would be, data, the universe would make no more sense to us than these keystrokes make sense to a computer.

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