Empiricism, find truth that rationalism no longer is a

Empiricism,
which can be defined as a theory that state knowledge was gained only or
primarily by sensory experiences,1
was several views of epistemology, along with rationalism and scepticism,
rather than rational deduction and innateness. Empiricism emphasizes the role
of empirical evidence in the formation of ideas, over the idea of innate ideas
or traditions,2 however the traditions
arise due to relations of previous sense experiences.3
Besides, it is in the philosophy of science in which emphasizes evidence
especially from experiments, or empirical research.

 

   Simply
taking the pros and cons of empiricism itself, there are loads of space for
further discussion. One of the advantages of empiricism is that became a method
to find truth that rationalism no longer is a necessary to account for how the
world runs. The wide use of empiricism can be backed up by Galileo Galilei’s
numerous theories. He insist to test every theory empirically if it works
within the laws of physics. For example, Aristotle’s theory of motion in which
he used rational thought to explain the motion of objects,4
argument was made that air resistance was responsible for how fast things fell.
It was later tested on the moon by dropping a feather and a hammer, in which
results in hitting the ground at the same time. However, the disadvantage of
empiricism is that the empirical evidence we got through our senses may not be
accurate. Sense data is indirect and sometimes illusion could be occurred.
Seeing the feather and hammer dropping onto the ground at the same time could
be just an illusion. Therefore, there must be mediation between sensation and
perception. Empiricists such as John Locke and David Hume emphasize the role of
evidence and experience as the main way of justifying our knowledge claims.5
Main way does not mean the only way which could be understand as only adopting
empiricism to proof things would limit the possibility of new findings or either
distort the truth. These are the pros and cons of empiricism itself in general.

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   Historical
method comprises the techniques of historians to use primary sources, secondary
writings and evidences for research. It emphasises on source criticism,
classifying contradictory sources, reliability etc. So taking empiricism as a
historical method must consider these rules. Historical method are crucial for
historiography as well as historical facts. It can be defined as something that
happened in the past, which had left traces in documents which could be used by
the historian to restrict it in present.6
In such case, under empiricism we have to proof the historical facts are true
with empirical evidences. However in fact there are so few events in history
were empirical, just like how the feather and hammer experiment could have some
false interpretation from the beginning. Kings or people empowered could change
how the history was written, also historians could not proof whether it really
happens in that way due to multiple reasons. Resources (ink, paper etc.) back
in early history was limited, the illiteracy rate is high not much people could
write about the history, loads of war and natural hazards damaged the primary
resources for historian to reference etc. Before looking too detail on evaluating
is empiricism a reliable way to write historiography, empiricism had also took
place throughout the past not only present days so that we can fully examine its
usefulness and limitations.

 

   Tracing back to the fifteenth century, it
began to change. The western world was under the influence of Renaissance
humanism. Various writers began to question the medieval and classical
understanding of knowledge acquisition in more fundamental way. In terms of political
and historical writing, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini created
a new style of writing, which they scorn articles that judge everything in
comparison. Not only the two men bring new ideology to the society, Leonardo Da
Vinci had once said, ‘If you find from your own experience that something is a
fact and it contradicts what some authority has written down, then you must
abandon the authority and base your reasoning on your own findings.’7
As the teaching of history changed, that the past was conceived of in its
relation to the present.8
This is the time history became a novel kind of study, and the records. The ‘historical
revolution’ by Mr. Fussener, was not confined to only one country. Most part of
the Europe had such sign, but Italy was the first country to start the
revolution. People were more interested in explaining how current phenomenon or
affairs had come about. Besides they were curious about the non-providential forms
of causation or at least of a way of defining providence.9
Moreover, most important element that affect the modern world widely starts to form,
that is the increased reliance on documents and antiquities as sources to
understand the past. Last but not least, skepticism towards fantasy or the
witch legend etc. started to grow since the revolution took place.

“But the real break with medieval way of thinking, the
‘historical revolution’, as Fussner calls it, occurred in the sixteenth and
seventeenth century.”10
The father of Galileo, Vincenzo Galilei, was the inventor of monody. He
successfully solved musical problems, such as tuning and composition. In terms
of tuning, the pitch in relations to string tension, mass in stringed
instrument, and volume of air in wind instruments have significant improvement.
During the classical period, many instruments have problems in terms of the
above components.

1 Stathis Psillos; Martin Curd, The Routledge Companion To Philosophy of Science,
(London, 2010), p. 129–138.

2 Baird, Forrest E.; Walter Kaufmann,
Philosophic classics: from Plato to
Derrida, (Pearson, 2008).

3 David Hume, Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, (1748).

4 Act For Libraries, What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of
Empiricism, http://www.actforlibraries.org/what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-empiricism/, accessed 02 January 2018

5 Act For Libraries, What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of
Empiricism, http://www.actforlibraries.org/what-are-the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-empiricism/, accessed 02 January 2018

6 Evans, Richard J; Chapter 3 – Historians and their facts inc.
Notes, (Granta, 2000), p.1.

7 Camillia Matuk, “Seeing the
Body: The Divergence of Ancient Chineseand Western Medical Illustration”, Journal of Biocommunication, Vol. 32,
No. 1, (2006).

8 Stephen Davies, Empiricism and History, (Palgrave
Macmillan, 2003), p.18.

9 Stephen Davies, Empiricism and History, (Palgrave
Macmillan, 2003), p.20.

10 F. S Fussener, The Historical Revolution: English
Historical Writing and Thought 1580-1640 (London: Routledge & Kegan
Paul, 1962).

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