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Encyclopedia > Empirical

A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. That is, empirical data are data that are produced by experiment or observation.[1] It is usually differentiated from the philosophic usage of empiricism by the use of the adjective "empirical" or the adverb "empirically." "Empirical" as an adjective or adverb is used in conjunction with both the natural and social sciences, and refers to the use of working hypotheses that are testable using observation or experiment. In this sense of the word, scientific statements are subject to and derived from our experiences or observations. Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... The lunar farside as seen from Apollo 11 Natural science is the rational study of the universe via rules or laws of natural order. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... Look up Hypothesis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... One may be faced with the problem of making a definite decision with respect to an uncertain hypothesis which is known only through its observable consequences. ... Observation is an activity of a sapient or sentient living being, which senses and assimiliates the knowledge of a phenomenon in its framework of previous knowledge and ideas. ... In the scientific method, an experiment (Latin: ex-+-periri, of (or from) trying), is a set of actions of going to the bathroom. ...

In a second sense "empirical" in science may be synonymous with "experimental." In this sense, an empirical result is an experimental observation. In this context, the term semi-empirical is used for qualifying theoretical methods which use in part basic axioms or postulated scientific laws and experimental results. Such methods are opposed to theoretical ab initio methods which are purely deductive and based on first principles. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Ab Initio Software Corporation was founded in the mid 1990s by the former CEO, Sheryl Handler, and several other former employees of Thinking Machines Corporation, after the bankruptcy of that company. ... Deductive reasoning is the process of reaching a conclusion that is guaranteed to follow, if the evidence provided is true and the reasoning used to reach the conclusion is correct. ... In a formal logical system, that is, a set of propositions that are consistent with one another, it is probable that some of the statements can be deduced from one another. ...

In statistics, "empirical" quantities are those computed from observed values, as opposed to those derived from theoretical considerations. Template:Otherusescccc A graph of a bell curve in a normal distribution showing statistics used in educational assessment, comparing various grading methods. ... In probability and statistics, realization, or observed value, of a random variable is the value that is actually observed (what actually happened). ...

The use of the adjective empirical, especially in scientific studies using statistics, may also indicate that a particular correlation between two parameters has been found, but that so far, no theory for the mechanism of the connection is known. Template:Otherusescccc A graph of a bell curve in a normal distribution showing statistics used in educational assessment, comparing various grading methods. ... Positive linear correlations between 1000 pairs of numbers. ...

Empirical does not refer to empires (e.g. Roman Empire); it is sometimes used erroneously in this fashion. See Imperial as an adjective for empire. Scholars debate about what exactly constitutes an Empire (from the Latin imperium, denoting military command within the ancient Roman government). ... Motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent, c. ... Imperial is a term that is used to describe something that relates to an Empire, Emperor, or the concept of Imperialism. ...


  1. ^ The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright Ā© 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company

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  Results from FactBites:
Glossary of Terms: Em (326 words)
Empiricism originated in England in the seventeenth century with Bacon, Hobbes and Locke, when it was a materialist trend, is as much as it directed attention to the observation of Nature as opposed to Holy scripture or introspection.
Empiricism is characterised, on the one hand, by an uncritical attitude towards the categories through which Experience is grasped, and on the other by rejection of the significance of Reason in acquiring knowledge.
The chief defect of Empiricism is that it views experience passively, whereas in order to retain a consistent materialist understanding of experience it is necessary to recognise that it is the practical activity of people changing the world which is the condition and source of knowledge.
Needleman, Inner Empiricism (3340 words)
This empiricism of the senses has been directed toward the outer world--or what is in effect perceived as the "outer world"--organized by categories of logic and the conceptual powers of discursive intellect.
When the "see­er" recognizes that he or she is being changed by the very process of seeing inward, the possibilities of inner empiricism shift to another level and a whole new area of investigation opens up.
At this stage, the science of inner empiricism leads the investigator to the threshold of what may be a spiritual journey.
  More results at FactBites »



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