Rationalism vs Empiricism

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Poll: The superior epistemology is
Rationalism (6)
66.67%
Empiricism (3)
33.33%
l'etranger
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#1
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I want you to pick your preferred epistemology, explanations below

Rationalism: True-statements are synthesised through induction/deduction on immutable and self-evident axioms and these statements are true regardless of our subjective sensory experiences. Fields: Philosophy, Mathematics

Empiricism: Knowledge is gained exclusively through our sensory experience which is verified by repeated observation, knowledge which is incapable of being tested for or observed is an absurdity Fields: Science, Engineering
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stillridin
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(Original post by l'etranger)
I want you to pick your preferred epistemology, explanations below

Rationalism: True-statements are synthesised through induction/deduction on immutable and self-evident axioms and these statements are true regardless of our subjective sensory experiences. Fields: Philosophy, Mathematics

Empiricism: Knowledge is gained exclusively through our sensory experience which is verified by repeated observation, knowledge which is incapable of being tested for or observed is an absurdity Fields: Science, Engineering
plato was wrong about the world of the forms
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l'etranger
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#3
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(Original post by stillridin)
plato was wrong about the world of the forms
How do you know? Imagine describing the colour blue to a man born blind.
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by l'etranger)
I want you to pick your preferred epistemology, explanations below
A combination of both, of course.

(Original post by stillridin)
plato was wrong about the world of the forms
Some would say that using the words "worlds" and "forms" in reference to Plato's theory is a big mistake.
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Abdukazam
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Not sure it is a valid distinction, I know of no philosopher who has not achieved knowledge through one of the two methods. Even empiricism rests on fundamental assumptions and frames of reference.
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Whitewell
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(Original post by l'etranger)
I want you to pick your preferred epistemology, explanations below

Rationalism: True-statements are synthesised through induction/deduction on immutable and self-evident axioms and these statements are true regardless of our subjective sensory experiences. Fields: Philosophy, Mathematics

Empiricism: Knowledge is gained exclusively through our sensory experience which is verified by repeated observation, knowledge which is incapable of being tested for or observed is an absurdity Fields: Science, Engineering
Great thread!

If those are the only two options, surely you would have to be a rationalist! There isn't any real sense in thinking that maths or logic are empirical, yet science and engineering both rely on maths and logic. In that sense, maths and logic are more fundamental notions we simply can't do without. Also, it does seem that the 3 laws of logic really are just self evident axioms in that they can neither be proved or disproved. So, with the options given, I think you have to side with rationalism.

However, if the options were expanded I would be a scholastic.

Like the rationalists, Scholastic philosophers hold that there are metaphysically necessary truths which can be known with certainty, but they reject the rationalist view that such truths are innate or that metaphysics is an essentially a priori discipline. Like the empiricists, Scholastic philosophers hold that our concepts and knowledge derive from experience, but they also reject both the empiricists’ desiccated conception of “experience” and the empiricist tendency to conflate the intellect and the imagination. They regard the intellect as capable of “pulling out” from experience far more than either the rationalist or the empiricist supposes. Hence they reject the assumption that if a proposition isn’t empirical in the thin empiricist (as opposed to thick Aristotelian) sense of “empirical,” then it must be a matter of “conceptual analysis,” with the only remaining question being whether “conceptual analysis” is to be understood in rationalist, Humean, Kantian, Wittgensteinian, Strawsonian, or Frank Jackson-style terms.
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interact
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#7
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Rubbish poll. In spite of deep contradictions between the two, they're both still reductionist.
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Absent Agent
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(Original post by l'etranger)
I want you to pick your preferred epistemology, explanations below

Rationalism: True-statements are synthesised through induction/deduction on immutable and self-evident axioms and these statements are true regardless of our subjective sensory experiences. Fields: Philosophy, Mathematics

Empiricism: Knowledge is gained exclusively through our sensory experience which is verified by repeated observation, knowledge which is incapable of being tested for or observed is an absurdity Fields: Science, Engineering
It is very controversial, if not incorrect, to consider Philosophy or Mathematics as purely deductive disciplines. Sure, there is no laboratory in a university philosophy department, but does that mean that the philosopher will ignore everything the natural sciences have to say about reality? Or is it actually the case that philosophy is capable of yielding knowledge in advance, or better still, independent of all experience?

Even the most general and abstract subject-matter of metaphysics involves consideration of presuppositions of scientific thought. It does not so much optimistically attempt to derive knowledge beyond the bounds of experience as it does to determine the scope and validity of such absolute assumptions. In fact, we cannot even hope to do such things if the source of our knowledge is unknown.
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