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Definition of empirical:

  • (adjective) derived from experiment and observation rather than theory;

Sentence Examples:

The French and Germans have long stood pre-eminent in the empirical world, though the merit of ingenious and more plausible emanations of genius may fairly be attributed to the latter.

The only claim my exposition can have on the reader's attention is that of being an attempt to systematize what has been hitherto either empirical observation, or the establishment of critical rules on a false basis.

The ground for the universal validity of the relations among ideas as well as of our knowledge of them, naturally lies not in their empirical origin (for my experience gives information to me alone, and that only concerning the particular case in question), but in the uniformity of man's rational constitution.

The merely empirical reality of space and time, the limitation of their validity to phenomena, leaves the certainty of knowledge within the limits of experience intact; for we are equally certain of it, whether these forms necessarily belong to things in themselves, or only to our intuitions of things.

By such schematic syntheses the pure concept is brought near to the empirical intuition, and the way is prepared for an application of the former to the latter, or, what is the same thing, for the subsumption of the latter under the former.

That which geometry asserts of pure intuition (i.e., the infinite divisibility of lines) holds also of empirical intuition.

Empirical psychology, then, alone remains for the extension of our knowledge of mental life, while rational psychology shrivels up from a doctrine into a mere discipline, which watches that the limits of experience are not overstepped.

While a vigorously developing religious sentiment turned his speculation to the relation of the individual ego to the primal source of spiritual life, empirical reality also acquired greater significance for him, and the intellectual, moral, and political situation of the time especially attracted his attention.

To one whose mind was thus habitually occupied, the empirical activities of Palmerston, who had no notion what a principle meant, resembled the incoherent vagaries of a tiresome child.

Science was purely empirical, mathematics was mainly arithmetic and mensuration, and there was no room in these subjects for that exercise of discernment and acumen as well as of taste which was provided by well-directed study of the best authors.

Comparing the empirical results of this examination with those based on the anatomical data above given, and finding a general coincidence in them, he constructs his last in accordance with their joint teachings.

This is obviously an occasional and polemical work, and being as it is overcharged with the anti-Catholic passion of the time, has a typical quality which gives it some empirical significance and interest.

It was the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, coinciding as they did with a period of philosophic activity, that revealed the shallowness and empirical nature of all that had been done up to that time.

For a long time we sought to estimate the temperature of a body by studying its radiation, but we did not know any positive relation between this radiation and the temperature, and we had no good experimental method of estimation, but had recourse to purely empirical formulas and the use of apparatus of little precision.

Moreover, it has theoretically justified prophylactic measures, such as vaccination, which formerly rested on a merely empirical basis; and it has been extended to other diseases with excellent results.

The danger emanating from natural phenomena has its discoverable laws, and therefore leads to a first empirical study of winds, currents, seasonal rainfall and the whole science of hydraulics.

When the naturalists say that the notion of cause is a fetish, an anthropomorphic superstition which we must eliminate, we have to answer: 'from the realm of empirical science perhaps, but not from experience as a whole.'

The principle of falsification is formulated as for deterministic reality, while many empirical models are stochastic.

However, the claims of this book are primarily mathematical certainties, and additional empirical data will mainly provide didactic assurance.

The use of alum in the treatment of laminitis is held to be without reason other than the empirical one that it is beneficial.

Wesley's resistance to a strict application of authority and the rules grew partly out of the rationalistic and empirical temper of Englishmen in his age, but it also sprang from his learning.

It results from the necessity we are under, both individually and as a race, of reaching the abstract by way of the concrete, that there must be practice and an accruing experience with its empirical generalization, before there can be science.

Here, then, were two utterly novel and independent sets of empirical facts which harmonize strangely with the supposition that substances are composed of chemical atoms of a determinate weight.

Just why different elements should differ thus in valency no one as yet knows; it is an empirical fact that they do.

We can determine by experiment limiting percentages of steel which a concrete of given quality can safely carry as reinforcement, and then use empirical formulas based on the stress in the steel and an assumed percentage of its depth in the concrete as a lever arm with more ease and just as much accuracy.

It quickened scientific thought by emphasizing empirical methods of investigation, and by criticizing all results founded without sufficient data upon false hypotheses.

For Kant had a genteel tradition of his own, which he wished to remove to a place of safety, feeling that the empirical world had become too hot for it; and this place of safety was the region of transcendental myth.

Still, our conclusions will themselves be only hypothetical, depending on the truth of the datum; and, of course, until this is empirically ascertained, we are as far as ever from empirical reality.

Whether laws proved only by the canon of Difference are to be considered Empirical, is perhaps a question: their proof derives them from the principle of Causation; but, being of narrow scope, some more special account of them seems requisite in relation to the Primary Laws before we can call them Derivative in the technical sense.

Strictly speaking, I suppose, all the laws of chemical combination are empirical: the law of definite proportions is verifiable in all cases that have been examined, except for variations that may be ascribed to errors of experiment.

Much the same is true in Biology; most of the secondary laws are empirical, except so far as structures or functions may be regarded as specialized cases in Physics or Chemistry and deducible from these sciences.

The theory of Natural Selection, however, has been the means of rendering many laws, that were once wholly empirical, at least partially derivative; namely, the laws of the geographical distribution of plants and animals, and of their adaptation in organization, form and color, habits and instincts, to their various conditions of life.

Empirical formulae providing quantitative estimates of peak ground motion at various distances from the postulated earthquakes were developed for use in the effects of severe ground shaking on individual structures or critical facilities.

No one will deny that the philosophy of Kant was better than the English empirical system of the eighteenth century, which was the best metaphysical pabulum he had received at home.

The Arabian physicians, acute and curious as they were, had exercised but a very transient influence upon the real progress of the art, the chief cause of their non-success being their adhesion to arbitrary and empirical tradition.

Try to judge the great beliefs that have swayed mankind by their inner logic or their empirical solidity, and you stand forever, a dull pedant, apart from the interests of men.

And I would add that hypnotism is only the name given to a group of empirical methods of inducing these fresh personalities.

For the same reason, deductive logic is not a good discipline for these students; empirical psychology, or political economy, is a better introduction to the moral sciences for them when they reach the high school.

It was a period when science (though mostly through its empirical professors) was bringing forward, anew, a hoard of facts and imperfect theories, that had partially won credence in elder times, but which modern skepticism had swept away as rubbish.

Hartley was expounding the association principle which became the main doctrine of the empirical school, and Hume was teaching ethics upon the same basis, and turning from speculation to political history.

Putting aside however the cosmological aspect of our controversy with the "radical empirical" school of thought, we still have left unconsidered our most serious divergence from their position.

Under the influence of the mechanical idea the modern teacher's most valuable possession, empirical knowledge of the voice, becomes utterly unserviceable.

The second class of materials is held by strict adherents of the scientific idea to be purely empirical; this class includes the traditional precepts of the old Italian school, and also all the topics of instruction based on the singer's sensations.

If this hydrate survived the acetylation it would of course affect the empirical composition, i.e. chiefly the carbon percentage, of the product.

He could have easily mastered the facts which the rules were intended to impress, but the empirical process suggested for arriving at the facts he could not remember, even if he could have construed the crabbed Latin in which it was conveyed.

We have already followed the fortunes of that empirical subjectivism which issues from the relativity of perception.

This empirical theory of knowledge, inaugurated and developed by Locke and Berkeley, culminates in Hume's designation of the impression as the distinguishing element of nature, at once making up its content and certifying to its externality.

As against the professedly exact laws of physics, such empirical generalizations have the advantage that they deal with observable phenomena.

The laws of traditional physics, in the form in which they deal with movements of matter or electricity, have an apparent simplicity which somewhat conceals the empirical character of what they assert.

Thus, in so far as physics is an empirical and verifiable science, it must assume or prove that the inference from appearances to matter is, in general, legitimate, and it must be able to tell us, more or less, what appearances to expect.

It is precisely under this aspect that transmutation is of such inestimable value to morphology; it enables us to rise from the bare empirical knowledge of numberless isolated facts to a philosophical conception of their efficient causes.

Observation separates out an empirical law; that is, extracts directly an abridged formula that is only a condensation of facts.

Justice and the law of compensation are often entirely ignored, and the methods employed are unmoral, to say the least, almost without exception, unscientific, and wholly empirical.

Empirical statements sound well and look well in print, but they are no use whatever as sailing directions in the uncharted waters of Arabian politics.

What Hooke did, in his day, occasionally, and in an empirical manner, some German literati have attempted in a quite systematic, a priori fashion.

He entered upon a series of speculations which forcibly remind us how empirical was the notion of the earth's rotundity before the inauguration of physical astronomy by Speculations as to the earth's shape.

It was the crowning triumph of the great law of universal gravitation to remove this empirical character from Kepler's laws.

This is just as true of the strictest scientific processes as it is of deductive reasoning, and indeed it is interesting to watch the way in which within recent years idealistic philosophy and empirical science have joined hands.

We should make our policy based on empirical evidence of its likely effects and there should be a formal requirement of empirical reconsideration of those policies after they have been implemented to see if they are working.

All the empirical evidence shows that protecting compilations of facts, as the European Database Directive does, has been a profound failure as a policy, imposing costs on consumers without encouraging new database production.

In this custom, developed in purely an empirical manner, is to be seen a striking illustration of a bacteriological process crudely carried out.

Empirical science is apt to cloud the sight, and, by the very knowledge of functions and processes, to bereave the student of the manly contemplation of the whole.

With the great expansion of psychological knowledge in recent decades, due to research by experimental and other empirical methods, it has become possible to give a course more informational in character and going quite beyond the range of the student's previous experience; and this new material is finding its way into elementary texts and courses.

These empirical results also have the advantage, in many cases, of throwing light on the practical problems of mental health and efficiency; and some inclusion of such material is desirable if only to fit the needs of the considerable number of students who cannot become interested in a course of the traditional sort.

I will not linger over the glaring inconsistency involved in the conclusion thus arrived at, of appealing, for the verification of empirical generalizations, to a species of deduction confessed to be impracticable for want of the requisite materials.

On the other hand, I have purposely treated the empirical physical foundations of the theory in a "step-motherly" fashion, so that readers unfamiliar with physics may not feel like the wanderer who was unable to see the forest for the trees.

Corresponding to the same complex of empirical data, there may be several theories, which differ from one another to a considerable extent.

And it is no less true that metaphysics, without this basis in experimental science, is illusory and untrustworthy, wherever the original data are necessarily empirical.

Higher empirical laws can be got, when a phenomenon presents (as no negation can) a series of regular gradations, since something may then be inferred from the observed as to the unobservable terms of the series.

Formulae which merely express the relative number of atoms of the different elements present in a compound are termed empirical formulae, and the formulae of all compounds whose molecular weights are undetermined are necessarily empirical.

We know as an empirical fact that far-seeing tendencies often carry out their purpose, but we know also that they are often defeated by the failure of some contemptibly small process on which success depends.

I am speaking of that ethics which exists prosaically and in an empirical and current fashion, in the inclinations, the habits, the customs, the counsels, the judgments and the appreciations of ordinary mortals.

As Kant now describes the faculty of judgement or thought, it unifies an empirical or an a priori manifold of perception combined into an individual whole, through a conception which constitutes a principle of unity.

That which is necessarily to be represented as numerically identical cannot be thought as such by means of empirical data.

An object of experience or an image of it always falls short of the empirical conception to a far greater degree than does the schema; the empirical conception always relates immediately to the schema of the imagination as a rule for the determination of our perception in conformity with a certain general conception.

The reason why Kant does not draw this conclusion is probably that given above, viz. that by the time Kant reaches the solution of his problem empirical knowledge has come to relate to sensation only; consequently, it has ceased to occur to him that empirical judgements could possibly give us knowledge of things as they are.

At this point the epistemologist takes up the question of empirical knowledge and considers the kind of validity, if any, which it can possess.

His medical knowledge was wholly empirical; restrained by the authority of Galen, and debarred from the practice of anatomy, nothing more could be expected than that he should stumble on some fortunate nostrums.

The better quills will still be collected, and find their way to the quill dealer, who will exercise his empirical arts before they pass to the stationer.

An assertion has meaning only in so far as it refers to some object that can be defined in empirical terms and that can be subjected to further direct or indirect tests, whereby its relations to our own activities can become determinate.

The confusion and artificiality thereby introduced into philosophical thought is nowhere more evident than in the empirical treatment of relations or dynamic continuities.

Avowedly it is a doctrine of desperation, and as such it is cited here to show the desperate straits to which ignoring empirical facts has reduced a doctrine of experience.

It may be doubted whether there was any available empirical substitute until science worked out the fact that physical changes are functional correlations of energies, and that man is continuous with other forms of life, and until social life had developed an intellectually free and responsible individual as its agent.

There is no contradiction in this fact ... simply because it is possible for the same thing to possess several relations, the question of their compatibility or incompatibility being in each case a question of empirical fact.

The rates for newspapers, samples, ordinary printed matter, etc., have been accorded not solely with reference to the cost of the service, but on grounds more or less political and social as regards the fact of granting a privileged rate, and more or less empirical as regards the fixing of the actual amount of the charge.

In the second place, the astronomical knowledge presupposed and accompanying early Babylonian astrology is essentially of an empirical character.

To the Austrian economists we owe a rational theory of costs which gives the money-outlay concept more than a merely empirical basis.

Proceeding now to consider, what is to be regarded as sufficient evidence of an approximate generalization; we can have no difficulty in at once recognizing that when admissible at all, it is admissible only as an empirical law.

The periodical return of eclipses, as originally ascertained by the persevering observation of the early eastern astronomers, was an empirical law, until the general laws of the celestial motions had accounted for it.

An empirical law, then, is an observed uniformity, presumed to be resolvable into simpler laws, but not yet resolved into them.

In the above considerations lies the justification of the limited degree of reliance which scientific inquirers are accustomed to place in empirical laws.

These empirical laws may be of greater or less authority, according as there is reason to presume that they are resolvable into laws only, or into laws and collocations together.

In the preceding discussion we have recognized two kinds of empirical laws: those known to be laws of causation, but presumed to be resolvable into simpler laws; and those not known to be laws of causation at all.

Tolerance, the empirical method, scientific disinterestedness, and humanitarianism had hardly gained a foothold in the colonies in 1728.

In the case of old trees it is possible that one would encounter greater extremes of yields than those shown in the foregoing table, especially if a certain amount of thinning had been done previously on empirical lines.

As verse, serious or humorous, they are irreclaimable and intolerable; what empirical value they may have must be wrung out of them with all haste.

The universality of the individual was made clear when for the empirical concept of the individual, abstractly considered, we substituted the deeper and more speculative one of the individual himself in the concreteness of his relationships.

Tradition and fatalism hampered true consistency between faith and works; the often sound regulations suffered from their empirical foundations.

Moreover, it is not conditioned like every other empirical fact, but as consequence and substance of a voluntary act entirely unconditioned.'

The underlying motive in atomism was not, I think, any empirical success in interpreting phenomena, but rather an instinctive belief that beneath all the changes of the sensible world there must be something permanent and unchanging.