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CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION
A. Background
Principally, knowledge becomes very much important when people are
faced with the development of more advanced age with science. Through today's
modern competition, the science is indispensable to global challenges. In line with
the above-mentioned facts, there are several theories can be obtained to acquire
knowledge, especially in the field of philosophy.
Philosophy in modern era was born because of the effort out of the
restraints of the clergy thought in scholastic age. One of people who contributed
in building the foundation of new thinking in the western world was Rene
Descartes. Descartes offers a procedure called universal methodical doubt where
doubt is not pointing to a prolonged confusion, but it will end when the existence
of its self-consciousness is born he says with cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I
am). The theory of knowledge developed Rene Descartes is known as rationalism
because the mindset that Rene Descartes argued geared towards strength ratio
(sense) human. As a reaction to the rationalism of Descartes thought this appears
philosophers who developed later that contrary to Descartes who assume that
knowledge is rooted in experience. They are referred to as the empiricism, among
which John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, George Berkeley, and David Hume. In this
paper will not discuss all the characters empiricism, but will be discussed
empiricist David Hume who is regarded as the peak of empiricism.
B. Objective
Based on background above, the objectives of this paper are:
1. To know the definition of Empiricism
2. To know the history of Empiricism
3. To know the theories of Empiricism
4. To know the types of Empiricism
5. To know the figures of Empiricism
6. To know the weaknesses of Empiricism

CHAPTER II
DISCUSSION
A. Definition
Empiricism is a philosophical doctrine that emphasizes the role of
experience in acquiring knowledge and shrinks the role of sense. The term
empiricism is taken from the Greek word empeiria meaning try or experience. As
an empiricist, doctrine is opposed to rationalism. Empiricism found a perfect
knowledge of the truth is not obtained through reason, but obtained or derived
from human senses, namely the eyes, tongue, ears, skin and nose. In other words,
truth is something that according to human experience.
Empiricism principal teachings are:
1. The view that all ideas or ideas are an abstraction that is formed by
combining what is experienced.
2. The sensory experience is the only source of knowledge, and not reason or
ratio.
3. All that we know in the end depends on the data of sense.
4. All the knowledge down directly or indirectly concluded from the data of
sense (except some definitional truths of logic and mathematics).
5. Reason alone cannot give us the knowledge of reality without reference to
the sensory experience and the use of our senses. Reason given the task to
process materials obtained from experience.
6. Empiricism as a philosophical experience recognizes that experience as the
only source of knowledge.
B. History
John Locke, British philosopher who lived from 1632-1704, pioneered
empiricism concept. Locke educational ideas are contained in his "Essay
Concerning Human Understanding". Empiricism was built by Francis Bacon
(1210-1292) and Thomas Hobes (1588-1679), but suffered sistematisi the next
two figures, John Locke and David Hume.

C. Theories
Experts who follow the establishment of Empiricism have different ideas
on the concept nativism. Followers of nativism found that development depends
solely on the basis of factors, whereas empiricism said that the child's
development into an adult human being is determined by the environment and
education. Empiricist is familiar with paedagogis optimism.
Concept empiricism great influence in the United States. Many experts
who, although not explicitly reject the basic role, but because the base is difficult
to determine, it is practically the only environmental discussed.
Empiricism

concept

may

develop

and

progress

to

understand

environmentalism, but it turns out this concept basically fail the test and can not
be maintained. The main character of this concept is John loke.
The doctrine of empiricism concept very famous is the "tabula rasa" which
means slate or a blank sheet. This doctrine emphasizes the importance of
experience, environment and education, parent and family factors, especially the
nature and circumstances will determine the future direction of development of
the child. The nature of the parents is a typical style of behaving and treating
children.
In the neighborhood there are many factors that affect the development
and behavior, but the actual environment only factors in the surrounding world
that really affect. Environment can be divided into three sections:
1. Natural Environment.
2. Inside Environment.
3. Social Environment.
Of the three the environment, social environment most dominant influence
on the spiritual and personal growth of children.
D. Types of Empiricism
1. Classical Empiricism
Classical empiricism is characterized by a rejection of innate, in-born knowledge
or concepts. John Locke, well known as an empiricist, wrote of the mind being a

tabula rasa, a blank slate, when we enter the world. At birth, we know nothing;
it is only subsequently that the mind is furnished with information by experience.
2. Radical Empiricism
In its most radical forms, empiricism holds that all of our knowledge is derived
from the senses. This position leads naturally to the verifications principle that
the meaning of statements is inextricably tied to the experiences that would
confirm them. According to this principle, it is only if it is possible to empirically
test a claim that the claim has meaning. As all of our information comes from our
senses, it is impossible for us to talk about that which we have not experienced.
Statements that are not tied to our experiences are therefore meaningless.
This principle, which was associated with a now unpopular position called logical
positivism, renders religious and ethical claims literally nonsensical. No
observations could confirm religious or ethical claims, therefore those claims are
meaningless. Radical empiricism thus requires the abandonment of religious and
ethical discourse and belief.
3. Moderate Empiricism
More moderate empiricists, however, allow that there may be some cases in which
the senses do not ground our knowledge, but hold that these are exceptions to a
general rule. Truths such as there are no four-sided triangles and 7+5=12 need
not be investigated in order to be known, but all significant, interesting
knowledge, the empiricist claims, comes to us from experience. This more
moderate empiricism strikes many as more plausible than its radical alternative.
E. Figures of Empiricism
1. John Locke (1632-1704)
Locke was born in Somerset, Warrington in 1632. In 1647-1652, he
studied at Westminster. In 1652 he entered the University of Oxford. Locke's
philosophy can be said to be said anti-metaphysics. In his writings he says that

all knowledge comes from experience. This means that no one can be used as
an idea (concept) about something that is behind the experience. He says:
"Following that, let's look at the mind, as we know, such as white
paper, which is free of all nature, without any idea; then, how the mind
comes? Where it comes from deposits that a lot, very much human
imagination and infinite have painted them with a variety of the almost
endless? To this question, I answer in one word, from experience: in the
experience of all our knowledge is built, and from the experience, knowledge
of the peak to lower himself "
Locke emphasizes that the only thing we can catch is "simple sensing".
When we eat an apple, for example, we do not feel the whole apple in one
sensing alone. In fact, we received a series of simple-sensing apple green it is
the object, it feels fresh, smells fresh etc. after we eat apple many times we
end up thinking: now we are eating "apples". Accordingly, in the final analysis
we can conclude that all the material for our knowledge of the world obtained
from sensory experiences.
2. David Hume (1711-1776)
As an empiricist, Hume once wrote a book when he was twenty years.
But this book is not got the attention of many people, hence Hume moved to
another subject, and he is perhaps best remembered as a historian. The book,
written when he was a historian also using empiricism. Same with the
empiricist predecessors, Hume states that all knowledge starts from sensory
experience as the basis.
When rationalism got adherents in mainland Europe, the most
developed in the British empiricism. Empiricism chose as the main source of
introduction is not the ratio but experience. And that the empiricism intended
as an outward experience concerning the world and inner experiences
concerning the human person. Furthermore, he said the following:
All the perception of the human soul is formed through two different
tools, namely impressions and ideas. The difference between the two lies in

the level of strength and the line to the soul and driveways awareness.
Perception that includes the great strength and rugged I call impressions
(impression), and all sensations, desires, emotions I enter into this category so
into the soul. I mean the idea is vague description of the perception that it had
entered into thought. I can also divide the perception that makes it simple and
that complicated (complex). Perception that simple, or simple impression, or
a simple idea is that cannot be divided. While the complex is the opposite.
This division gives us the composition of the object, with it we can determine
more accurately the quality and object-relationship. Incoming stimulation is
the relations between impressions and ideas, which is the same in all respects
except in strength. Stimulation-stimulation reflects the soul of perception and
ideas. When I close my eyes and I think, the ideas that I truly represent forms
impression that I feel.
Why? Because not all of the impression (impression) recorded in the
idea. In the opinion of Hume, a simple idea came from a simple impression.
Simple idea can be a picture (image) of a red, round; simple impression in the
form of red, round. Idea is more complex, say the idea of apple, is the idea
that the arrangement and associated complex consisting of arrangement and
association simple ideas. When I say I see an apple, for example, I analyzed
my experience. My idea is that there is an apple that is determined by my
vision in red, spherical shape, taste apples, certain odors, and so on.
Hume put forward three arguments in analyzing something. first; no
idea of the cause-effect (causality); an event caused by other events. So from
this causality by Hume appears universal causality. Causality is the universal
law that says that every event must have a cause. If the car broke down, we
check the carburetor, electrical systems, and others. However, there are times
when the cause is unknown. We only know for sure because there is, but what
we do not know the cause of it. That's because the cause is very complex.
Second, because we believe in causality and universal application, we can
predict the past and future events. To do the forecasting, we must trust our
observations on current events as well as its relevance to the past and the

future that we dare generalize the experience. For example, when I woke up
at six in the morning tomorrow, I already know that the sun also rises. Why I
can foresee it? Because I experienced it since long. My observations are
relevant to the past and future of the rising sun. Third, the outside world does
exist, namely a world free from our experience. It's there even if we do not
have the impression and idea about it.
3. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
Empiricism in the philosophy of the great unknowable (unknown).
According to Spencer, we can only recognize the phenomena or symptoms. It
is true behind the symptoms that there is an absolute basis. But the absolute
cannot know. In principle, we only involves the introduction of relationships
between symptoms. Behind the symptoms there are some who by Spencer
called "unknown". It is clear, for Spencer that metaphysics becomes
impossible.
The cause of all that is around the relativity of our knowledge. We
think in a way of linking our knowledge is formed by symptoms that, because
it is not possible we penetrate the back of the symptoms here. From that, we
know that reconciliation between science and religion becomes impossible.
What is understood? Let science talk about law; rejecting God, take
materialism; and let God defend religion and reject materialism. There is no
way to understand religion; religion lies behind the phenomenon.
This general principle should not be understood but he known. God
and religion exist but cannot be materialized, there are waves and rhythms also
exist but cannot be known in detail. Likewise, the fact of the change of
seasons and so on.

F. The Weaknesses of Empiricism


This concept has some weaknesses, they are:
1. Limited senses. Distant objects appear smaller. Is it small? No. The
limitation of our senses will report object different from the real. It will
produce misunderstanding.
2. senses deceive. In people who are sick with malaria, sugar tastes bitter, hot
air felt cold. This will cause the wrong empirical knowledge as well.
3. Objects that are deceptive, for example an illusion, a mirage. So, this
object is actually not as he is captured by means of the senses; he lied to
the senses.
4. Derived from the senses and objects as well. In this case the senses (eyes)
are not able to see the buffalo as a whole, and buffalo were also not able to
show the whole body.

CHAPTER III
CONCLUSION
Empiricism is a philosophical concept that emphasizes the role of
experience in acquiring knowledge and shrink the role of sense empiricism found
a perfect knowledge of the truth is not obtained through reason, but obtained or
derived from human senses, namely the eyes, tongue, ears, skin and nose.
Experts who follow the establishment of Empiricism have different ideas
on the concept nativism. Followers of nativism found that development depends
solely on the basis of factors, whereas empiricism said that the child's
development into an adult human being is determined by the environment and
education.
Empiricism

concept

may

develop

and

progress

to

understand

environmentalism, but it turns out this concept basically fail the test and can not
be maintained.
Types of Empiricism:
1. Classical Empiricism
2. Radical Empiricism
3. Moderate Empiricism

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Borchert, Donald M., Edt. 2005. Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Second Edition,
Volume 3. Thomson Gale: Farmington Hills, USA.
Jalaluddin and Idi, Abdullah. 2007. Filsafat Pendidikan: Manusia, Filsafat dan
Pendidikan. Jogjakarta: Ar-Ruzz Media.
Muhmidayeli. 2013. Filsafat Pendidikan. Bandung: Refika Aditama.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empiricism
http://mujib-ennal.blogspot.com/2012/10/aliran-empirisme.html
http://syarifgallery.blogspot.com/2011/07/empirisme-serta-tokoh-aliranempirisme.html
http://www.theoryofknowledge.info/sources-of-knowledge/empiricism/

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