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In positivism, what counts as empirical? Is it the readings of instruments, or the notes on a notebook or computer, or is it the sense perceptions of an experimenter? There certainly is the case we can have no direct experience of any of those things, not even the mind of a fellow experimenter. What about the objection that empirical observations — whatever they "really" are — are theory-laden and need to be interpreted to make any sense?

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closed as off topic by dmckee Jul 23 '12 at 13:57

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This seems more appropriate for the Philosophy SE site. – Niel de Beaudrap Jul 23 '12 at 13:09
Positivism admits any part of internal experience as empirical, the point is that it does not admit things that have no impact on internal experience, like the universe outside the cosmological horizon, the "true" position of an electron in a ground state, etc. – Ron Maimon Jul 23 '12 at 19:53

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