Empiricist philosophers take the position that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge. By contrast, rationalist philosophers make the claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience.[1]

David Hume : John Locke

Jean Piaget's research into the development of cognitive schemas provides empirical support for the empiricist position. Piaget's experiments demonstrated that children incorporate experience to generate a progressively more logical construct concerning the operation of reality. That is, during the development of cognitive rationality, experiential information is assimilated and accommodated in a progression through increasingly more accurate reality-representational stages.

1. Markie, Peter, "Rationalism vs. Empiricism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2004 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL.

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