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What is Empiricism? The Philosophy of Locke, Berkeley and Hume

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

What is Empiricism?

"When asking ourselves what is empiricism in philosophy we cannot help but speak of the Empiricism vs. Rationalism debate that began with Descartes’s cogito ergo sum of and ended with Immanuel Kant. The Empiricism of John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume — known as the British Empiricists — developed in the 17th and 18th centuries and was a very influential movement. In contrast to the Rationalists (who believed that knowledge was only possible through reason and the mind), the Empiricists maintained that experience was the only origin of knowledge. Their challenge was to show why it was not unreliable in light of Descartes’s investigations in Discourse on the Method. So in this episode, we explore all this ground as we seek to answer the question: what is empiricism?" from video introduction.

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