Talk:Empirical evidence/Archive 1

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circular definition, not straight forward.(This unsigned post was added on 14th March 2007 by 188.155.122)

re: definition of "empirical" in scientific AND general terms: Currently posted definition inadequate & unclear. "Empirical" evidence is usually 'on the basis of observation up to present', or 'un-correlated evidence' i.e. on the basis of first results, anecdotal or axiomatic data. "Empirical" results are unchecked by further statistically significant experimental data, and usually have not been subjected to peer-review. [User:|]] 16:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
This last statement is flatly incorrect. I'm removing the cleanup tag. ... Kenosis 17:06, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
(Comment as posted was unclear; is this what you meant?)Swanny18 08:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Too many "that is" in the first few sentences. 19:16, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Duly noted. ... Kenosis 17:06, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
Too many "quotation marks". (talk) 14:06, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Citation needed

If the first sentence, "The word emperical denotes information gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment", is sourced, does the sentence "Empirical data are data that are produced by experiment or observation" need to be? I'm not a philosopher but it seems to me that all it's doing is putting the already-sourced defininion of "empirical" with the word "data". QED. Scolaire (talk) 06:46, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

No reply after six days, so I'm removing the tag. Scolaire (talk) 07:13, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


Empiricism is fundamental to the rise of western culture and technology, and deserves far more than just the stub of a article. It is about gaining knowledge from experiement and controlled observations, rather than by the previously used methods of armchair philosophy, appeals to authority, navel-gazing, conjecture, speculation, sentiment and so on (all of which are still alive and well in the arts - see semiology, post-modern or Freudian for examples). Edit: this article ought to mention empiricism near the start of the article, not just in See Also at the end. (talk) 14:03, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Empiricism and the supernatural

  • dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses

What about someone who has spiritual senses, or ESP? Suppose we find someone who's a mind reader or can tell things about someone he's never met?

Does the scientific study of religion investigate Spiritualism or communication with departed saints? --Uncle Ed (talk) 19:28, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested move

EmpiricalEmpirical evidence – I have taken a broad look at the situation with links in other articles, and what is missing is an article specifically for empirical data, empirical evidence, a posteriori, sense experience and empirical knowledge. It would seem to be a pretty important link to have, and this article is the closest in terms of content. I would be open minded to any of the preceding titles, but I think "empirical evidence" is the best. Furthermore, I do not believe that an adjective alone is an appropriate title. Greg Bard (talk) 19:47, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

I agree that an adjective alone is inappropriate as an article title; and I have no objection in principle to the title Empirical evidence. However, I think there's a bigger problem here, and this might be a good opportunity to address it. At the moment, in addition to the present article Empirical, we have articles entitled Empiricism [as a philosophical term]; Empirical method; Empirical research; Empirical relationship; and Empirical validation. There's also Empirical knowledge, Empirical data, Empirical content, Empirical observation, which are redirects to this article; Empirical analysis and Empirical question, which are redirects to Empiricism; Empirical proof, Empirical test, and Empirical verification, which are redirects to Empirical method; Empirical science, which is a redirect to Science(!); Empirical studies, which is a redirect to Empirical research; Empirical theory, which is a redirect to Scientific theory; and Empirical inquiry, which is a redirect to Case study. And then there are some more specific technical terms in various fields, including Empirical formula, Empirical Bayes method, Empirical distribution function, Empirical algorithmics, Empirical legal studies, Empirical likelihood, Empirical limits in science, Empirical measure, Empirical modelling, Empirical orthogonal functions, Empirical process, Empirical probability, Empirical process (process control model), Empirical psychology, Empirical risk minimization, Empirical reflectance retrieval, Empirical statistical laws, Empirical study of literature, Empirical treatment, Empirical theory of perception; not to mention Empirical agnosticism, Empirical constant, Empirical decision theory, Empirical law, Empirical mean, Empirical mode decomposition, Empirical potential, Empirical Research in Operations Management, Empirical Rule, Empirical sociology, Empirical software engineering, and Empirical solution of the Monty Hall problem, which are redirects to other technical terms. I may have missed a few, but you get the picture.
Leaving aside the technical articles (most of which have a reasonable degree of internal coherence), there's an enormous amount of overlap between most of those in the first group, and it seems to me that several of them could be merged – and certainly that the redirects need to be rationalised. I think there's some justification for keeping the philosophical and scientific usages of Empiricism separate, since, although they obviously rest on the same foundations, their premises and literature have branched in rather different directions. However, I would argue that Empiricism could reasonably be renamed Empiricism (philosophy); that the present article could be renamed Empiricism (science), or Empiricism (methodology), or similar; and that Empirical method, Empirical research, Empirical relationship and Empirical validation could all be merged into the present article. GrindtXX (talk) 01:12, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
In the course of preparing for this proposal, I did see and go through almost all of the links with prefix "empiric". I too, see that there may be be the possibility of merges. However, the most pressing need is for the concept as I described (i.e. empirical evidence). I strongly disagree with your idea about any kind of split like Empiricism (science) and Empiricism (philosophy). There are many terms and concepts that are used by both scientists and philosophers commonly, however in most cases they are not using different senses of the term, but rather focus their attention to differing aspects of the same concept. There is no such thing as Empiricism (science) as somehow different from Empiricism (philosophy). In fact it is pretty ridiculous in my view. I have seen this type of proposal several times elsewhere, and I see it as a product of people not understanding the role of philosophical analysis. Please avoid segregating philosophical content from scientific and mathematical content. They are the same concepts, and people need to learn how to edit a comprehensive encyclopedia article in an interdisciplinary manner. Lets just move this one article for now. Greg Bard (talk) 03:41, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment / suggestion. On seeing this article's title, my immediate thought was "Empirical... what?". Scanning the article, it seems to (want to) be about the nature of empirical evidence. If so, "Empirical evidence" (of which "empirical data" is an example if not a synonym) would seem to be an appropriate title..? (talk) 16:36, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely.Greg Bard (talk) 17:19, 22 November 2012 (UTC)