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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm not sure of the context of your question; however, I can define this term in common usage.  An empirical system is any practice (any subsequent actions) which is based on observation and experience rather than scientific fact or data.  That would probably include such things as the medicines recommended by old wives' tales or other kinds of "hereditary learning."  For example, methods of keeping mosquitoes away, cures for poison ivy, products which clean windows without streaking (my grandmother swore by vinegar and newspaper), or other such things.  These may work, but they generally fall into the category of experience rather than science--though there may, in fact, be scientific theory at work.  Homeopathic medicine was once considered a totally empirical system; that's beginning to change, though, it seems to me.