Definition of empiricist in English:



  • A person who supports the theory that all knowledge is based on experience derived from the senses.

    ‘most scientists are empiricists by nature’
    • ‘Feminist empiricists prefer the tools of analytic philosophy of science.’
    • ‘Russell took this to refute the older empiricists, for whom all knowledge rests solely on sense experience.’
    • ‘Logical empiricists can readily incorporate this point in an account of the relative merits of different types of inductive inference.’
    • ‘Critics rightly describe him as a great empiricist, but he was certainly no prisoner of fact.’
    • ‘Locke, as a moderate empiricist, accepted that there were both material and immaterial substances.’
    • ‘But even the great empiricist John Locke subscribed to a rational foundation for the basic principles of morals.’
    • ‘Perhaps social situation is partially responsible for the rise of the medical empiricists.’
    • ‘One does not have to be an atheist to be a rationalist, empiricist or skeptic.’
    • ‘They were men of science, Baconian empiricists, Protestants, and improvers.’
    • ‘He was an empiricist who made empiricism more radical by treating pure experience as the very substance of the world.’


  • Relating to or characteristic of the theory that all knowledge is based on experience derived from the senses.

    ‘his radically empiricist view of science as a direct engagement with the world’
    • ‘It is a common empiricist assumption that I can know my experience simply by observing it.’
    • ‘He believes that the motive of benevolence, so dear to empiricist morality, is a species of mere inclination, and therefore morally neutral.’
    • ‘To some extent he is criticizing assumptions common to the whole school of empiricist philosophers - Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and many others.’
    • ‘This openness has also been why psychoanalysis has often been dismissed as not sufficiently empiricist or objective in its methods.’
    • ‘Locke and his successors in the empiricist tradition argued that the foundation of contingent knowledge about the world lies in sensory experience.’
    • ‘Borrowing heavily from Western empiricist thought, these intellectuals attacked all forms of traditional Chinese teachings, ritual, and institutions.’
    • ‘Orwell's notion of language involves similar empiricist assumptions, in its naive belief that one first has a concept and then fits a word to it.’
    • ‘He dismisses the theories of those who do not share his strict materialist and empiricist approach to brain-function.’
    • ‘The empiricist position has been taken in recent times by the logical positivists of the Vienna Circle.’
    • ‘In putting the question this way, James takes issue with Hume's empiricist critique of identity.’