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What is empirical evidence?

 
Speakpigeon
 
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Speakpigeon
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19 January 2019 02:58
 

What is empirical evidence?

Abel Dean - 18 January 2019 07:22 PM

Maybe it would help if you would give two simple examples: an empirical proof and a non-empirical proof.

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used and of what they mean.
So, as a first example of what the word “empirical” means, we can look at the empirical evidence provided by a dictionary definition of what the word “empirical” means:

empirical
adj.
1.
a. Relying on or derived from observation or experiment: empirical results that supported the hypothesis.
b. Verifiable or provable by means of observation or experiment: empirical laws.
2. Guided by practical experience and not theory, especially in medicine.

Second example of empirical evidence. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. If you look into your bathroom and there is no evidence of any man-eating dragon, you take this as evidence there is no man-eating dragon. The few people who don’t are usually regarded as being insane, suggesting this is something most of us do and do even without thinking about it. It’s obvious, although again you’ll find people who don’t understand the idea.
Third example of empirical evidence. My own subjective experience is empirical evidence. If I feel pain, I will infer there’s something wrong somewhere in my body. And again, I assume that’s something nearly all of us do. We all take the feeling of pain as evidence there’s a real something. And science helps us understand why. The feeling of pain is scientifically accepted as being in normal conditions the result of the perception of some actual state or condition present in your own body, so we can talk of pain as the feeling resulting from the perception of harm or injury, which is called “nociception” (and not “perception of pain” as some dictionaries put it).
Fourth example of empirical evidence. I can use my own logical intuitions as empirical evidence to work out a method of logical calculus. I could do it, but it seems clear, although I accept this is debatable, that most methods of logic ever published have been developed on the basis of the logical intuitions people have had, starting with Aristotle and the few philosophers who, prior to Aristotle, discussed specific logical relations (without necessarily calling them as such). An apparent counterexample would be the definition of material implication, at least to the extent that you take material implication as a logical relation (I don’t), by mathematicians at the beginning the 20th century (essentially Frege and Russell initially).
And we have empirical evidence that people routinely use their own logical intuitions as empirical evidence, for example in the descriptions mathematicians make of the way they rely on their own intuitions to prove mathematical conjectures true. As I understand it, every proof, by mathematician or by theorem prover, is ultimately based on the intuition of the specialists, even when they are ostensibly based on a set of logical truths, since logical truths have accepted as such since the Antiquity on the basis of the intuitions the specialists had and on that reported by other people. Such intuitions include for example the logical truth “If it is true that it rains and it is true that I am hungry, then it is true that it rains”. Tell me if you think this isn’t obviously true.

Now, non-empirical evidence. Here, I’ll give just one example: That you don’t see a dragon is evidence, but it is not evidence that there is an invisible dragon. And it may well be evident to you that there is an invisible dragon. So, this in itself would be empirical evidence. But, that you don’t see a dragon is not evidence that there is an invisible dragon.
EB

 
nonverbal
 
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19 January 2019 05:23
 

Speakpigeon, would you say that English dictionaries published prior to the late 1800s represented information that was less than empirically derived?

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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19 January 2019 06:02
 
 
 
Speakpigeon
 
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19 January 2019 08:14
 
nonverbal - 19 January 2019 05:23 AM

Speakpigeon, would you say that English dictionaries published prior to the late 1800s represented information that was less than empirically derived?

What’s your point?
Your not addressing the topic. If you can’t get yourself to address the topic, don’t post.
If you want to discuss English dictionaries published prior to the late 1800s, thank you to start your own thread.
EB

 
nonverbal
 
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19 January 2019 08:33
 

Thank you, Speakpigeon! You’re most certainly one of the most competent inconsiderates I know of.

 
 
Speakpigeon
 
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19 January 2019 09:04
 
Jan_CAN - 19 January 2019 06:02 AM

Differentiate Among Empirical, Anecdotal, and Logical Evidence
https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/differentiate-among-empirical-anecdotal-and-logical-evidence-english-ii-reading

What’s your point. Are you somehow incapacitated from making your point properly, you know, by articulating it?
Well, that’s a start, I suppose.
Well, well, not a very good start. Here is what your “resource” says:

Empirical evidence is evidence that is based on scientific research.

???
How idiotic is that?
So, to believe your “resource”, a good deal of what the judiciary takes to be evidence is not in fact empirical evidence. Whoa. So, what kind of evidence is that?
Look here what is regarded as evidence by the judiciary:

Evidence
in a criminal or civil trial, the factual data (information) on circumstances that are of significance for the correct resolution of a criminal or civil case.

See? Factual data. And what is factual data? The data of a fact. So, what is a fact?

Fact
1. Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.


See? A fact is just the data you know to be true of a real event.
Nothing about “scientific research”, though. Just too bad, that.
And, also, according to this assertion from your “resource”, none of us could possibly gather any empirical evidence outside mentioning evidence “based on scientific research”. And since when, then? The government should tell us when that kind of stuff happens.

And then, on anecdotal evidence, the only thing your “resource” asserts in connection with empirical evidence, apart from misleadingly talking of the need to “differentiate among empirical and anecdotal evidence”, is this little bit on incoherence: conclusions based on anecdotal evidence “lack tested empirical evidence”.
So, suddenly, we’re no longer talking about “empirical evidence”, as in the misleading title of the page, which you just reproduced without any critical judgement, but “tested empirical evidence”. So, apparently, empirical evidence based on scientific research is not enough. Someone has to test it to make it good. Whoa.
So, your use of this resource is nothing but bullshitting.

Here is something more articulate about anecdotal evidence:

Anecdotal evidence
Anecdotal evidence is evidence from anecdotes, i.e., evidence collected in a casual or informal manner and relying heavily or entirely on personal testimony. When compared to other types of evidence, anecdotal evidence is generally regarded as limited in value due to a number of potential weaknesses, but may be considered within the scope of scientific method as some anecdotal evidence can be both empirical and verifiable, e.g. in the use of case studies in medicine. Other anecdotal evidence, however, does not qualify as scientific evidence, because its nature prevents it from being investigated by the scientific method.

So, the guy here says that anecdotal evidence “may be considered within the scope of scientific method”. And he also says that “some anecdotal evidence can be both empirical and verifiable”. So, are you going to prosecute him? Based on what evidence?
So, there, your differentiation goes down the drain.
Next time, try to articulate your point before posting. Lots of people who do that come to realise they don’t have a point to begin with.
Now, how do you feel?
EB

 
burt
 
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19 January 2019 09:35
 
nonverbal - 19 January 2019 08:33 AM

Thank you, Speakpigeon! You’re most certainly one of the most competent inconsiderates I know of.

Condescension and derision, tools of the trade.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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19 January 2019 09:46
 
Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 09:04 AM

Next time, try to articulate your point before posting. Lots of people who do that come to realise they don’t have a point to begin with.
Now, how do you feel?
EB

The rudeness of your post has ensured that there won’t be a next time.

 
 
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19 January 2019 10:19
 
burt - 19 January 2019 09:35 AM
nonverbal - 19 January 2019 08:33 AM

Thank you, Speakpigeon! You’re most certainly one of the most competent inconsiderates I know of.

Condescension and derision, tools of the trade.

Maybe he got up on the wrong side of the bed this year . . . and last year, too!

 
 
burt
 
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19 January 2019 10:38
 
nonverbal - 19 January 2019 10:19 AM
burt - 19 January 2019 09:35 AM
nonverbal - 19 January 2019 08:33 AM

Thank you, Speakpigeon! You’re most certainly one of the most competent inconsiderates I know of.

Condescension and derision, tools of the trade.

Maybe he got up on the wrong side of the bed this year . . . and last year, too!

Bed? He sleeps in a bed?

Would be an interesting empirical study to categorize the online personas that people take on and see how they relate to their real life personalities.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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19 January 2019 11:35
 

This seems frivolous, Mr. Pigeon. Does it have a purpose?

 
 
Speakpigeon
 
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20 January 2019 01:57
 
Nhoj Morley - 19 January 2019 11:35 AM

This seems frivolous, Mr. Pigeon. Does it have a purpose?

This?!
It?!
What is “this”? What is “it”?
Please explain yourself.

As to the purpose of this thread, it is obviously to discuss what empirical evidence may be.

If there is anything factually wrong in what I say, you’re welcome to correct me.

It’s a fact that am also much less rude than most people here. I don’t make comments like “Bed? He sleeps in a bed?” (by the way, I did sleep very well that night, thanks).
I don’t throw tantrums, either, unlike some poster.
I also don’t make derogatory posts, posts whose purpose is entirely derogatory, something many posters here seems to enjoy doing a lot, like “Maybe he got up on the wrong side of the bed this year . . . and last year, too!”. And then, that’s not something which is sanctioned at all by the forum’s moderators.
I also articulate my views, something few people here seem capable of doing properly if at all. This is supposed to be a “critical thinking” forum. Why people post in here at all if they can’t articulate their thinking?
I also reply to posters at length whenever they have a point.
I also write my posts so as to make a rational debate possible. I quote people I am responding to and I quote the bit which is relevant to my comment. However, this is something most posters here don’t bother doing, preferring to pontificate and derail, when it’s not just drive-by shooting. So, most posters show they are not even interested in ensuring the conditions for a rational debate.
What’s left?
Oh, yes, you would need to explain yourself.
EB

 
burt
 
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20 January 2019 07:24
 
Speakpigeon - 20 January 2019 01:57 AM
Nhoj Morley - 19 January 2019 11:35 AM

This seems frivolous, Mr. Pigeon. Does it have a purpose?

This?!
It?!
What is “this”? What is “it”?
Please explain yourself.

As to the purpose of this thread, it is obviously to discuss what empirical evidence may be.

If there is anything factually wrong in what I say, you’re welcome to correct me.

It’s a fact that am also much less rude than most people here. I don’t make comments like “Bed? He sleeps in a bed?” (by the way, I did sleep very well that night, thanks).
I don’t throw tantrums, either, unlike some poster.
I also don’t make derogatory posts, posts whose purpose is entirely derogatory, something many posters here seems to enjoy doing a lot, like “Maybe he got up on the wrong side of the bed this year . . . and last year, too!”. And then, that’s not something which is sanctioned at all by the forum’s moderators.
I also articulate my views, something few people here seem capable of doing properly if at all. This is supposed to be a “critical thinking” forum. Why people post in here at all if they can’t articulate their thinking?
I also reply to posters at length whenever they have a point.
I also write my posts so as to make a rational debate possible. I quote people I am responding to and I quote the bit which is relevant to my comment. However, this is something most posters here don’t bother doing, preferring to pontificate and derail, when it’s not just drive-by shooting. So, most posters show they are not even interested in ensuring the conditions for a rational debate.
What’s left?
Oh, yes, you would need to explain yourself.
EB

Rather a self-serving set of comments. From what I’ve seen you are simply indulging your own arrogance behind an online persona (and I can provide good empirical evidence for that statement). I predict that you will not be around here much longer.

 
icehorse
 
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20 January 2019 08:11
 

from the OP, sp said:

And we have empirical evidence that people routinely use their own logical intuitions as empirical evidence, for example in the descriptions mathematicians make of the way they rely on their own intuitions to prove mathematical conjectures true. As I understand it, every proof, by mathematician or by theorem prover, is ultimately based on the intuition of the specialists, even when they are ostensibly based on a set of logical truths, since logical truths have accepted as such since the Antiquity on the basis of the intuitions the specialists had and on that reported by other people. Such intuitions include for example the logical truth “If it is true that it rains and it is true that I am hungry, then it is true that it rains”. Tell me if you think this isn’t obviously true.

Be careful how you sling the term “intuition”. If we’re honest, most of what humans can do reliably and/or with expertise, cannot be put into words. A certified chess master reliably makes strong chess moves, but she cannot explain her process. You, sp, cannot really explain how you walk. If you think you can, then write down the process and fly to silicon valley, you will earn yourself a billion dollars.

So, scientists who study expertise use the term “expert intuition” (or simply “intuition”), to describe how people can be good at stuff they cannot explain.

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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20 January 2019 09:46
 
Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

One, dictionary definitions are empirical evidence of how words are used . . .

Agreed.

Speakpigeon - 19 January 2019 02:58 AM

. . . and of what they mean.

Would you agree that the meaning of words is determined by consensus? And if so, are you suggesting that consensus constitutes empirical evidence? Should we, for example, take the consensus of the people who’ve responded here that you are rude (etc.) as empirical evidence that you are rude?

 
 
nonverbal
 
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20 January 2019 11:03
 

Maybe you don’t sweat the details, Mr. Jollyface. But it’s a mistake to broadly describe “dictionary definitions” as you do in the OP, since some dictionary definitions represent empirical evidence of how words are used and what they mean, and some don’t.

 
 
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