Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Empiricism: a branch within epistemology which assumes that sensory perception is fundamental for setting up claims and theories. The opposite position, rationalism, assumes that even purely logical knowledge and conclusions from this knowledge may be sufficient for the building of theories. See also logical positivism, instrumentalism, rationalism, epistemology, theories, foundation, experiments, > inferentialism, knowledge, experience, science.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

William James on Empiricism - Dictionary of Arguments

Diaz-Bone I 56
JamesVsEmpirism: "Nominalism": Empirists claim that there is a concept for every object. James: What about facts for which no concept exists? >Nominalism.
Even worse:
I 57
Language/James: language supports the nominalistic tendency to dismember the stream of consciousness.
Nevertheless, James develops a position of radical empiricism (VsRationalism, VsEmpirism, which is represented by Hume;JamesVsHume).
JamesVsHume: in order to be radical, empiricism must not contain elements which are not directly perceptible, nor exclude elements which are directly experienced. Cf. Empiricism/Hume.
Radical Empiricism/James:
1. Only such issues can be discussed, which are based on categories of observation.
2. The relations between objects of experience are as accessible as the objects themselves.
3. Context as a result of partial experience is itself the object of experience. The experience of this connection is the stream of consciousness.
4. No preliminary reconstruction of subjective consciousness.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

James I
R. Diaz-Bone/K. Schubert
William James zur Einführung Hamburg 1996

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