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There's a word that's slipped my mind. It's used for example to qualify findings through tests or statistics as opposed to formulae or hard science. Any ideas?

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There is also inductive reasoning: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductive_reasoning – Cerberus Jun 5 '11 at 19:50
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Are you thinking of empirical?

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Yes, that's the word I was looking for. A broad vocabulary is a good thing but it needs to be maintained through regular usage. – James Poulson Jun 5 '11 at 13:20
In his latest book The Beginning of Infinity, David Deutsch makes the compelling case that the status of empiricism in Western Civilisation since the Enlightenment is the most significant thing that has ever happened in Earth's 4.5-billion-year history. So we should all make more effort to retrieve the word as deftly as Peter. – FumbleFingers Jun 5 '11 at 16:40
+1 to give you another silver! – Daniel Sep 10 '11 at 11:46

Peter has a good suggestion but I will add that we also say "it is an experimental fact that...".

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