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Empiricism
(1,096 words)

The term “empiricism” (from Gk. empeiria, “experience”) received its present meaning toward the end of the 18th century. Previously it was used to distinguish medicine based on practical experience (medicina empirica) from academic medicine (medicina rationalis). Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) used the term in 1781 to denote the philosophical trend that deduces even the knowledge of “pure reason” from experience. Since then the concept has made its way into philosophical lexica and histories of philosophy.

We must distinguish between a use that serves philosophical classi…

Cite this page
Zimmerli, Walther C., “Empiricism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 16 May 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_E242>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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