Empiricism Is A Belief
Excerpt from “Substance & Shadow” by Suhotra Swami
The foundation of empiricism is a belief, not the objective truth. We should try to understand this carefully. Belief is defined in philosophy as a state of mind that is appropriate to truth. A state of mind is subjective. The objective confirmation of belief is truth. Now, if the claim of empiricism, that sense data is the ultimate knowledge, was a truth, empiricists would be able to demonstrate objectively that there is nothing to be known beyond sense data. But the very term empiricism (coming from the Greek empeira, experience) means that sense experience is the limit of empirical knowledge. Confined by their method within this limit, empiricists have no means of knowing whether or not there is something beyond the experience of the senses. Therefore, the claim that sense data is knowledge is nothing more than a belief.