a strong form of empiricism, esp as established in the philosophical system of Auguste Comte, that rejects metaphysics and theology as seeking knowledge beyond the scope of experience, and holds that experimental investigation and observation are the only sources of substantial knowledgeSee also logical positivism
Also called: legal positivismthe jurisprudential doctrine that the legitimacy of a law depends on its being enacted in proper form, rather than on its contentCompare natural law (def. 3)
An approach to philosophy frequently found in the twentieth century. Positivists usually hold that all meaningful statements must be either logical inferences or sense descriptions, and they usually argue that the statements found in metaphysics, such as “Human beings are free” or “Human beings are not free,” are meaningless because they cannot possibly be verified by the senses.