Empirical knowledge: methods. Empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge

Empirical knowledge - the establishment of scientific facts and their subjective processing. This is the initial moment of the process of cognition, in which sensations and feelings play the most important role. Thanks to the senses, the human being can be objectively connected with the world around. They give immediate primary knowledge about things, phenomena and objects, their functions and properties.

Epistemology of sensations

This section of science considers the empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge as a superstructure over the sensual. The latter include perception, sensation and representation. Empirical knowledge is based on sensations. This is a display of the properties of individual objects, things during their exposure to the senses. This is a basic knowledge that does not have the structure of a cognitive phenomenon.Throughput information ability of human senses is based on vision, touch, hearing, smell and taste. The sense organs as a means of knowledge are formed as a result of practical direct interaction between nature and man. It is through this practice that empirical knowledge is possible. Representations and images that are created as a result of the acquisition of a particular sensation cannot be separated from the cognitive social actions and addictions of people.
empirical knowledge

Epistemology of perception

The empirical level of knowledge is also based on perception, which is a sensually-structured, concrete image. It arises from a complex of previously obtained sensations: tactile, visual, and so on. Empirical knowledge is repelled by perception, which is thinking contemplation. As a result of the perception and sensation of the forms of external nature, an idea of ​​it is created as an image of a cognitive type. Representation - an intermediate link between thinking and perception.
empirical level of knowledge


Empirical knowledge appears at the junction of sensory perception and consciousness.Sensations leave a deep impression in the mind. Processes and events felt unconsciously orient a person in the flow of life events, but he does not always fix them on purpose. It is impossible to comprehend all this and get into the essence of things, it is impossible to know the causes of phenomena using only the sense organs. This can be achieved with the help of mental (rational) cognition, in combination with such a process as empirical cognition.

Experienced level

Experience is a higher level in comparison with the sensual. Empirical and theoretical knowledge (without which the practical use of the experience gained is impossible) allows us to describe the experience. They involve the creation of a source of knowledge in the form of rigorous scientific documents. These can be schemes, acts, protocols, and so on. Empirical knowledge can be both direct and indirect (through the use of various devices and devices).
methods of empirical knowledge

Historical process

Modern empirical scientific knowledge is a source of observation of things, objects and natural phenomena. Our ancestors observed animals, plants, the sky, other people, the work of the human body.It was the knowledge acquired in this way that formed the basis of astronomy, biology, medicine, physics and other sciences. In the process of the development of civilization, the empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge were improved, the possibilities of perception and observation increased with the help of tools and instruments. Purposeful observation differs from contemplation by the selectivity of the process. Preliminary hypotheses and ideas aim the researcher at specific objects of research, which determines the set of technical means that are necessary to get a reliable result.
empirical and theoretical levels of knowledge


The methods of empirical knowledge are based on living contemplation, sensory perception and rational moment. The collection and synthesis of facts - the main task of these processes. Methods of empirical knowledge include observation, measurement, analysis, induction, experiment, comparison, observation.
1. Observation is a passive purposeful study of an object that relies on the senses. During this process, the researcher receives general information about the object of knowledge, about its properties.

2. Experiment is a targeted active intervention in the current process under study.It includes the change of the object and the conditions of its operation, which are determined by the scope of the objectives of the experiment. The features of the experiment are: active attitude to the subject of research, the possibility of its transformation, monitoring its behavior, checking the result, the reproducibility of the experiment in relation to the object and conditions under study, the ability to detect additional properties of phenomena.

3. Comparison is a cognitive operation that reveals the differences or identities of different objects. This process makes sense in one class of homogeneous things and phenomena.

4. Description - a procedure consisting in fixing the result of an experiment (experiment or observation) using the accepted notation systems.

5. Measurement is a set of active actions that are performed using measuring and computing means to find the numerical and quantitative values ​​of the quantities being studied.

It must be emphasized that empirical and theoretical knowledge is always implemented together, that is, research methods are supported by conceptual theories, hypotheses and ideas.
empirical scientific knowledge

Technical equipment

Empirical knowledge in science actively uses technical equipment in the process of studying phenomena and things. It can be:

- measuring devices and devices: scales, rulers, speedometers, radiometers, ammeters and voltmeters, wattmeters and so on, helping the researcher to know the parameters and characteristics of objects;

- devices that are able to help in the observation of objects and objects that are actually invisible to the naked eye (telescopes, microscopes, etc.);

- devices that allow analyzing the functions and structure of the studied processes and phenomena: oscillographs, electrocardiographs, chromatographs, chronometers, and so on.

The importance of the experiment

Empirical knowledge and its results today are directly dependent on experimental data. If they are not received or impossible at this stage, then the theory is considered “naked” - impractical and unconfirmed. To conduct an experiment correctly is the responsible task of constructing a theory. Only through this process can we test hypotheses, establish the alleged connection. The experiment is qualitatively different from observation in three conditions:

1.During the experiment, the phenomena occur in the conditions previously created by the researcher. Under observation, only the registration of a phenomenon in its natural environment.

2. The researcher freely intervenes in events and phenomena within the rules of the experiment. The observer does not have the right and cannot regulate the object of study and its conditions.

3. The researcher during the experiment has the right to exclude or include various parameters. The observer, on the other hand, only records possible new parameters in natural conditions.
empirical and theoretical knowledge

Types of experiments

The empirical level of knowledge is based on different types of experiments:

- physical - the study of the diversity of natural phenomena;

- psychological - the study of the life of the subject of the study and related circumstances;

- mental - is carried out exclusively in the imagination;

- critical - it is necessary to check the data according to different criteria;

- computer mathematical modeling.

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