What are some examples of empiricism

2.5 empiricists versus rationalists

Another distinction that goes back to the development of science in the 19th century is that between rationalism and empiricism. The rationalism (Latin ratio "Reason") assumes the possibility of one rational knowledgeof the reality off while the empiricism (Greek εμπειρισμa2; ς "from empiricism", Latin experientia "Experience") the Experience or sensory perception as a central strategy of knowledge stressed.

These different approaches have also shaped national scientific traditions. That's how it stands rationalism especially with the French tradition in context (e.g. René Descartes). Within cultural and social anthropology, this position is also found in the works of Emile Durkheim, Claude Lévi-Strauss but also Marxist-oriented authors like Maurice Godelier their precipitation. They have a skeptical attitude towards empiricism in common, at least insofar as they do not regard the statements of the informants as a more or less direct and ultimate representation of reality.

In contrast to this is the empiricism with the Anglo-Saxon scientific tradition and authors such as John Locke and David Hume closely related. Typical conclusions of empiricism are induction and abduction. It is no coincidence that empirical field research (Bronislaw Malinowski, Franz Boas) played an important role in the development of anthropological theory earlier than in the French tradition in both British and US social anthropology.

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