Empiricsm (m-pîr-szm) n.
1. The view that experience, especially of the senses, is the only source of knowledge.
2. Employment of empirical methods, as in science.
3. An empirical conclusion.
The Empiricist claim does not entail that we have empirical knowledge, but rather that knowledge can be gained, if at all, via experience. And although empiricism has rightly become the de facto method in science for gathering data- it is not perfect. Knowledge of the external world does come through our senses. Yet, what if our senses are mislead?
The problem with always trusting Empiricism:
A blonde and a brunette are sitting on a park bench in California. The brunette says to the blonde, “Which do you think is further away- the moon or Florida?” The blonde responds, “Well, DUH. I can see the moon!”
A wife begins to suspect that her husband is losing her hearing but he refuses to get his ears checked. So she consults a physician. He suggests that she perform a simple at home test. Stand behind him and ask him a question. First from 15 feet, then from 10 feet, then from right behind him. She goes home and decides to perform the test. She sees him in the drivway working on his car. She asks, “What do you want for dinner?” No response. She walks down the driveway until she is about 10 feet away and asks again, “What do you want for diner?” Still no answer. She stands directly behind him and asks a third time, “What do you want for dinner?” He turns around and screams, “For the THIRD time Chicken!”
A teacher at a school for blind kids is takes the school’s soccer team to an away game. They stop for a rest break, and the teacher decides to let the kids work off some energy with a little impromptu practice in a nearby pasture. The teacher explains to a passerby how it is possible for the blind kids to play soccer. “We made a special ball, with a bell in it, so the kids can keep track of where the ball is and where its going just by listening for it. They are pretty good at it too!” The passerby remarks”Very clever!” Just then they are interrupted as another passerby remarks, “Hey! Are you the guy with those damn blind kids from the bus?” The teacher responds “Yes, what about it? Do you have something against blind kids?” “Not in general,” says the guy scowling “but they are kicking the hell out of my best milk cow!”
Three elderly women were sitting side by side in their retirement home, reminiscing. The first lady recalled shopping for groceries in the old days, and demonstrated with her hands the length and thickness of a cucumber she could buy for a penny. The second old lady nodded, adding that onions used to be much bigger and cheaper, too, and she demonstrated the size of two big onions she could buy for a penny a piece. The third old lady remarked, “I can’t hear a word you’re saying, but I remember the guy you’re talking about.”