Gordon Clark – Refuting Empiricism and Explaining Science

Gordon Clark argues that empiricism and science cannot provide a valid epistemology. Empiricism is the theory that knowledge comes from sensory experience. Some argue that knowledge can come from sensory experience alone, and others argue that knowledge can come from sensory experience with the aid of a priori “forms,” or categories. Here, we will examine Clark’s criticisms of both kinds of empiricism.

Refuting Aristotle

Clark argues that Aristotle, one of the strongest defenders of empiricism, fails.

Aristotle, rejecting Platonism, proposed to base a knowledge on sensory experience. To do this, he must not only develop the definitions of man, of justice, and of equality from sensation, but on a more fundamental level, he must determine the categories and ultimately defend the law of contradiction. In none of this can I see that he was successful.

Gordon H. Clark. “Clark and His Critics.” Apple Books. 52-53.

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