The New Empiricists: Some Philosophy Behind Xcitelife

Posted: January 11, 2016 By Rob Campbell

Sir John Locke, The EmpiricistsNow that the internet has brought mankind into the information sharing age, it has also reenergized a philosophical perspective that was popular in Western Culture two centuries ago.

The Empiricists are back, because once again there's a new emphasis on enjoying first hand experiences and making rich memories and profiting by doing mentally and physically rewarding activities rather than simply being a homebody relying on second hand accounts of things. Today everything is possible, and Xcitelife eliminates excuses.

Empiricism is a theory that holds that true knowledge comes only from sensory experience. Now accepting this as fact doesn't necessarily invalidate all the book learning we've done, because students can gain some experience in books, but in order to assemble the book knowledge into useful information in our brains we need to have some practical experience in the field. The idea that practice makes perfect, and involvement breeds knowledge really appeals to us as we create a new 'marketplace for experiences' designed to get people to drop their devices and do something cool.

Do you think propigating motivational mantras like 'practice makes perfect' is what the original Empiricists had in mind? Probably not, but who could have envisioned the information sharing economy born by the internet? And what's more who could have known that a generation of intelligent beings would soon become trapped in their phones...

Berkely, Hume and Locke Berkley, Hume and Locke were obsessed with answering age old questions around what makes us sentient beings? Where is consciousness located in the body? Can people really be born evil? You have to remember that in the 19th century many rational thinkers were not convinced that people were born good, or even neutral, or that children could be programmed to be good or evil depending on their upbringing. The notion is popular today thanks to Sigmund Freud, Benjamin Spock and a host of others, and indeed moral programming is the bedrock of modern Early Childhood Education. But just two hundred years ago both Church and State liked to point out that a great many carnivorous animals are born with predatory instincts, and that humans are just animals after all and thus are born 'innately evil'. They did this to reinforce their own laws and traditions which apply the corrective powers of our institutions to the problem. But we have evolved past those beliefs today, and now sharing our experiences for growth will put human evolution into overdrive.

Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence collecting, especially sensory experience, in the formation of ideas, over the notion of innate programming. What's bred in the bone is nothing beyond genetic predispositions, physical attributes that can affect cognitive thought and be limiting only if you let them..

Knowledge gained through experience is far superior and many times more useful than bookish knowledge.                        Mahatma Gandhi

Scientists have a different notion of Empiricism. Among their creed are devout 'empirics' whose work emphasizes physical evidence discovered in real world experiments. It's a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories be tested against observations of the natural world rather than resting solely on prior reasoning, intuition, or divine revelation. The crew at Xcitelife falls into this camp whole heartedly - they are indeed the try-everything types that live life to the fullest without regrets because to them happiness is wisdom bought and paid for by collecting experience.

Experience is not what happens to a man: it is what a man does with what happens to him.                          Aldous Huxley