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(2,645 words)

Author(s): Proudfoot, Wayne
1. In Philosophy In the empiricist tradition in modern philosophy, experience is contrasted with reason as a source of knowledge. Beginning with John Locke (1632–1704), empiricists have argued that reason alone cannot provide knowledge of what actually exists in the world; for that purpose, experience is required. Rational reflection on the idea of a sphere can provide knowledge of the properties of a sphere, but only by experience can we determine whether or not something exists in the shape of a …