What is Empiriocriticism?July 1, 2021
Empiriocriticism is the subjective idealistic teachings of Avenarius and Mach. The joint teachings of the German philosopher Richard Avenarius and the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, presented as empirical criticism, are based on Kantianism and positivism. According to this teaching, which is also called the philosophy of science and Mahism, science is subjective, nothing more than a tool that provides practical convenience. Because, neither physics nor metaphysics, nothing can be known. Objects are complexes of sensation.
The world consists of our sensations. Our sensations, on the other hand, are neutral phenomena that have neither a physical nor a psychic side. A mere repetition of Hume’s and Berkeley’s immaterialism, this doctrine can be summed up by the proposition “The world is nothing but my sensations”, which casts it into solipsism. Avenarius and Mach use the word “our” instead of “mine” in order not to fall into solipsism and to hide their subjectivism. However, if the external world does not have an objective existence, it is quite obvious that other people cannot have an objective existence, so the nonsense of “I know nothing but myself” and “There is nothing but me” cannot be avoided. According to this understanding, the subject of physics is the connections between objects.
Mach says: “Sensations are not symbols of objects, but rather objects are mental symbols for the complex of sensations. The real elements of the universe are sensations, not objects”. A famous critic replies to these words of Mach: “Then thought exists without a brain. Is there anyone who can defend this brainless philosophy? Yes, he does. This is Professor Richard Avenarius”.
This unscientific doctrine was written by Henri Poincare, P. Duhem, Adler, Petzoldt, etc. It was followed by many thinkers such as Bazarov, Bogdanov, Lunacharsky, Bermann, Hellfond, Iyushkevich, Suvorov etc. It has been tried to be associated with Marxism by many thinkers such as