What is the "empiricist consensus"?

This term is an artificial label (used for present teaching purposes) to designate a very general position with respect to scientific knowledge. This label is approximately synonymous with the expressions "the received view," or "the empiricist view or model," or "the "positivist view or model." All these names refer to the view of science then tended to dominate in most (but not all) philosophy of science for roughly the first half of the 20th century.

Insofar as those who held this viewtended to equate scientific knowledge with all knowledge, we may also say it is a very broad outlook on human knowledge in general, in other words it is a general epistemological point of view.

This perspective on the nature of knowledge also tended to lead those who held it to accept certain general views with respect to the nature of reality and values. In other words, while the empiricist consensus was primarily an epistemological orientation, it tended also to have metaphysical and axiological dimensions.