Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,085 words)

1. Definition

Today the term positivism, broadly conceived, refers to either (1) a stance on how to assess the results of scientific theories, or (2) a philosophical position that seeks to ban all non-empirical elements from the sphere of knowledge and replace metaphysics with the tools of empirical science (Empiricism; Epistemology). In the first sense, positivism recognizes only the empirical components of scientific theories and views their theoretic…

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Ducheyne, Steffen, “Positivism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025756>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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