SKIP TO CONTENT

empiricism

Empiricism means a method of study relying on empirical evidence, which includes things you've experienced: stuff you can see and touch.

Empiricism is based on facts, evidence, and research. Scholars and researchers deal in empiricism. If you believe in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus, you're out of the realm of empiricism — there are no facts to support those myths. If you want to get something practical done, or to really know what the deal is with something, empiricism is the way to go.

Definitions of empiricism
  1. noun
    (philosophy) the doctrine that knowledge derives from experience
    synonyms: empiricist philosophy, sensationalism
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    British empiricism
    the predominant philosophical tradition in Great Britain since the 17th century
    experimentalism
    an empirical doctrine that advocates experimental principles
    logical positivism, positivism
    the form of empiricism that bases all knowledge on perceptual experience (not on intuition or revelation)
    Comtism
    Auguste Comte's positivistic philosophy that metaphysics and theology should be replaced by a hierarchy of sciences from mathematics at the base to sociology at the top
    type of:
    philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory
    a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
  2. noun
    the application of empirical methods in any art or science
    see moresee less
    type of:
    investigating, investigation
    the work of inquiring into something thoroughly and systematically
  3. noun
    medical practice and advice based on observation and experience in ignorance of scientific findings
    synonyms: quackery
    see moresee less
    type of:
    medical practice
    the practice of medicine
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week