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

John R. Searle on Empiricism - Dictionary of Arguments

I 89
SearleVsEmpricism: "empirical" is ambiguous: ontological (causal) or epistemologically (observable parallelism). >SearleVsEmpiricism.

Behavior is irrelevant when it comes to the ontology of consciousness. We could have two systems (robots) with identical behavior, one of which has consciousness and the other does not.
Empiricist philosophers will not be comfortable with these thought experiments. It will seem to you as if I am assuming the existence of empirical facts regarding the mental states of a system, but which cannot be proved by any empirical means.
You believe that the behavior of another system is the only clue we have to attribute mental states to this system.
>Robot, >Behavior, >Simulation, >Consciousness, >Zombies, >Mind, >Computer-model, >Turing test.

There is a systematic ambiguity in the use of the word "empirical".
(a) Ontological sense of "empirical."
Then when one speaks of empirical facts, sometimes contingent facts in the world are meant.
I 90
b) Epistemological sense of this word. Here one means a provable sense, namely from the perspective of the third person. Supposedly, all empirical facts are equally accessible to all competent observers.
But we know that this is not true. There are any number of empirical facts which are not equally accessible to all competent observers.
((s) Otherwise one would have to define competence by access, which would be circular.)

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.

Searle I
John R. Searle
The Rediscovery of the Mind, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1992
German Edition:
Die Wiederentdeckung des Geistes Frankfurt 1996

Searle II
John R. Searle
Intentionality. An essay in the philosophy of mind, Cambridge/MA 1983
German Edition:
Intentionalität Frankfurt 1991

Searle III
John R. Searle
The Construction of Social Reality, New York 1995
German Edition:
Die Konstruktion der gesellschaftlichen Wirklichkeit Hamburg 1997

Searle IV
John R. Searle
Expression and Meaning. Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts, Cambridge/MA 1979
German Edition:
Ausdruck und Bedeutung Frankfurt 1982

Searle V
John R. Searle
Speech Acts, Cambridge/MA 1969
German Edition:
Sprechakte Frankfurt 1983

Searle VII
John R. Searle
Behauptungen und Abweichungen
Linguistik und Philosophie, G. Grewendorf/G. Meggle, Frankfurt/M. 1974/1995

Searle VIII
John R. Searle
Chomskys Revolution in der Linguistik
Linguistik und Philosophie, G. Grewendorf/G. Meggle, Frankfurt/M. 1974/1995

Searle IX
John R. Searle
"Animal Minds", in: Midwest Studies in Philosophy 19 (1994) pp. 206-219
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005

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