Empiricism is not a theory as such; it is a foundational system that governs the elements and relationships from which theories are formed. One may think of it as a set of specifications that determine what theories can be and what they might be able to do. Empiricists believe that knowledge comes to us via observation through our senses or that its claims should be based on observations. Statements not validated by an observation of a physical event do not qualify as knowledge. This rules out theories about the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Great Pumpkin, because no valid observations are available about either entity. At the same time, empiricists find certain unobservable concepts acceptable because they are based on other, more fundamental observations. Examples are the orbit of Mars, behavioral intentions, comforting communication, or couple types.
Empiricism relies on a further assumption that events can be observed, recorded, and compared in sensible ways and that these records are the equivalent of direct observations. This assumption depends on the usefulness of various procedures, such as controlled experiments and validated instruments that remove the subjectivity inherent in human information processing. Empiricists also believe that there is a real world separate from our evaluation of it. For example, many persons believe in “metaphysical” entities such as the soul, but empiricists deny that such nonphysical elements are real because they cannot be observed through the senses.
Littlejohn, Stephen W and Karen A.Floss. (2009). Encyclopedia of Communication Theory.USA:SAGE.409
Penanggungjawab naskah :
Edwina Ayu Kustiawan
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