8 Characteristics Of Empirical Knowledge

Empirical Knowledge: Characteristics, Definition, Types, Examples

We explain what empirical knowledge is and what it is based on. In addition, what are its characteristics and types of knowledge.

What is knowledge?

Knowledge is all kinds of knowledge, everything that we acquire through different mechanisms of interaction with what surrounds us, that is, through sensory and cognitive processes typical of human beings (from some very simple, such as hearing or seeing , to others well complex, such as certain logical or mathematical deductions ), with the help of technological elements.

The salient features of knowledge depend on the type of knowledge being considered. Different categories of knowledge are usually recognized according to the way in which they are acquired , also according to how they are based. We distinguish thus:

  • intuitive knowledge. Acquired through common sense
  • discursive knowledge. It is acquired on the basis of prior knowledge
  • Scientific Knowledge . It is acquired by designing and conducting research .
  • philosophical knowledge. It is acquired through analysis and criticism.
  • non-scientific knowledge.
    • Empirical.  It is based on experience.
    • Popular or vulgar. It is based on experiences, stories and beliefs.

The salient characteristics of empirical knowledge, one of the two most widespread forms of knowledge, along with scientific knowledge, will be distinguished.

Characteristics of empirical knowledge :

  1. based on experience

This is the key element of empirical knowledge and what differentiates it from scientific knowledge. For a very long time, humanity only had access to empirical knowledge.

  1. Subjective

Empirical knowledge is conditioned by the subjects that support the knowledge.

It does not necessarily try to reach the truth , and it is always conditioned by the subjects that guarantee this knowledge.

  1. Personal

Each individual incorporates and assimilates this knowledge in a peculiar way , from their personal heritage and their own beliefs and experiences, which makes it much less precise knowledge.

  1. unsystematic

It does not require rigorous and orderly work , you can skip steps.

  1. not verifiable

There is no way to test empirical knowledge, only the factual supports it .

  1. Particular

It is not possible to generalize knowledge that arises from experience.

As it is not supported by a robust theoretical body, it is not possible to generalize a knowledge that arises from the empirical .

  1. ambiguous language

Unlike scientific knowledge, it lacks its own language , that is, words specifically designed and defined to explain the phenomenon in question.

  1. Episodic

It does not have the requirement to be reproducible or consistent with a larger paradigm, which gives it the possibility of remaining as an episodic element .

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