The Case for Empiricism (With and Without Statistics)

Kenneth Church


These days we tend to use terms like empirical and statistical as if they are interchangeable, but it wasn’t always this way, and probably for good reason. In A Pendulum Swung Too Far (Church, 2011), I argued that graduate programs should make room for both Empiricism and Rationalism. We don’t know which trends will dominate the field tomorrow, but it is a good bet that it won’t be what’s hot today. We should prepare the next generation of students for all possible futures, or at least all probable futures. This paper argues for a diverse interpretation of Empiricism, one that makes room for everything from Humanities to Engineering (and then some).

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